Is Moldova heading for an early election?

Is Moldova heading for an early election?
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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The pro-Russian winner of Moldova's presidential election says he will push for early parliamentary elections next year.


The pro-Russian winner of Moldova’s presidential election says he will push for early parliamentary elections next year.

Igor Dodon won Sunday’s election after campaigning for the scrapping of a trade deal the former Soviet state signed with Brussels in 2014.

Dodon told Russian state television:

  • Voters had “united and voted for friendship with Russia, for neutrality”
  • “A very serious combat is ahead but we are ready for this combat,” referring to the next election

Has he called for a snap election before?


However, his call for one so soon after his victory suggests he and the government could be at loggerheads from the start of the presidency.

Why has he said this?

The aim is to force out a government that favours closer ties with the EU.

What would this mean for Moldova?

More instability, so it is said.

A one billion US dollar graft scandal in 2014 badly damaged trust in the pro-EU leaders.

It resulted in the prime minister being jailed.

The impoverished country has had four premiers since then.

What do Moldovans think?

Dodon’s win prompted more than 2,000 pro-European Moldovans to protest against alleged electoral violations.

Waving Moldovan flags and a giant Romanian tricolour, they chanted “We still have a chance” and “Dodon to the trash!”.

Thousands have gathered in #Chișinău to protest Dodon's win. Looks peaceful so far. #election#moldova


— (@moldovaorg) November 14, 2016

What do the election observers say?

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) says key procedures were followed and its overall assessment is positive.

However, it said reports that some voters were unable to vote because of a lack of ballots were “regrettable”.

Dodon’s opponent in the race, Maia Sandu, has yet to accept the preliminary results.

She says she is compiling a list of all the violations an would present it to the Central Election Commission for review.

Moldova’s EU path “cannot be reversed”

On Sunday, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said the government and new president would need to work together.

However, he added that Moldova’s path towards greater EU integration “cannot be reversed”.


Reversing the Russian restrictions”

Russia imposed trade restrictions on Moldovan exports after it signed the political and trade agreement with the EU in 2014.

Dodon’s Socialist party wants to scrap that agreement in favour of joining a Eurasian economic union dominated by Russia.

The policy is backed by many Moldovans who suffered financially from the goods embargo and a broader economic downturn.

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