Moldova. Before the March parliamentary elections, President Vladimir Voronin accused “foreign forces” of meddling in Moldovan politics. Shortly before the election, groups of Russian and Belarusian citizens who were considered to want to disrupt the elections were rejected. According to Voronin, Moscow supported both the opposition Alliance Democratic Moldova and the separatists in the transnistrian republic (Dnestr).
In the election, however, the Moldovan Communist Party retained its majority in parliament, although it fell from 71 to 56 seats. Democratic Moldova received 34 seats and the Christian Democratic Party, which advocates Moldova’s reunification with Romania, received 11 seats. Parliament has 101 seats.
According to countryaah, Chisinau is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Moldova. The opposition felt that the ruling communists had been given undue room in the media during the election movement, but the OSCE election observers explained that the election had largely met international requirements.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym MD stands for the country of Moldova and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
Vladimir Voronin was re-elected in April by the new parliament as president. When he was first elected, his goal was to approach Moldova to Russia and make Russian a second official language. But after a conflict with Russia over Transnistria, Voronin turned away from Moscow and instead sought to approach Moldova to the EU, which, according to political analysts, enabled the new election victory for the Communists. All major parties want to approach Moldova to the EU and see this as the solution to the difficult economic and social problems in Europe’s poorest countries.
The opposition planned protest meetings after the parliamentary elections with the goal of carrying out a peaceful revolution based on designs from Georgia and Ukraine. Voronin, however, appeared to his critics by allying himself with the new Georgian and Ukrainian leaders. In April, the presidents of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan met in the Moldovan capital of Chişinău and decided to create a “Union for Democratic States” with the goal of getting out of Russia’s sphere of interest.
Liberal candidate wins presidential election
In the second round of the presidential election, Maia Sandu wins a superior victory over incumbent President Igor Dodon. Sandu, who is running for the liberal EU-friendly party PAS, gets almost 58 percent of the vote against just over 42 percent for Dodon. Sandus’ win is seen as a setback for Russia, which has bet that the pro-Russian Dodon would be re-elected. Sandu went to the polls on promises to deepen integration with the EU and strengthen the fight against corruption. She says after her victory that she intends to pursue a balanced foreign policy and talk to all countries including the EU, Russia and the United States. Dodon congratulates Sandu on the win and urges his supporters to refrain from demonstrating in the streets. Russian President Vladimir Putin also congratulates Sandu and wishes her luck.
The governing coalition is breaking down
Prime Minister Ion Chicu has appointed five new ministers since the Socialist Party’s coalition partner, the Democratic Party, withdrew from government cooperation. Thus, the Socialist Party again leads a minority government, a fact that fuels speculation that a new election can be called when it is clear who won the second round of the presidential election on 15 November.
Unexpected outcome in the first round of the presidential election
Maia Sandu from the liberal EU-friendly party PAS surprisingly wins the first round of the presidential election, which is a major setback for incumbent President Igor Dodon, who is backed by the Socialist Party and Russia. Sandu gets 36 percent of the vote against 32 for Dodon. As none of them wins 50 percent of the vote, a second round will be held on November 15.