Pro-European Candidate Wins Moldova Vote

Pro-European Candidate Wins Moldova VotePro-European Candidate Wins Moldova Vote

A pro-European Union candidate won the runoff vote for mayor of Moldova’s capital and biggest city Chisinau on Monday, in an election seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the EU or to neighboring Russia.

Dorin Chirtoaca, who is also deputy chairman of the Liberal Party, said Moldova should have a new government in place by the end of August to avoid an early election, AP reported.

Parliament has until September 12 to approve a new government after former prime minister Chiril Gaburici resigned on June 12 amid a probe into the authenticity of his high school and university degrees.

“Today a new pro-European offensive starts from Chisinau and in all of Moldova,” the 38-year-old Chirtoaca said. “The pro-European path should go all the way.”

Chirtoaca’s victory was a boost for Moldova’s pro-European parties, which hold 55 of the 101 seats in parliament yet struggle to remain united. Pro-European parties won 17 counties Sunday while parties that want more cooperation with Moscow took 11 counties.

Final results gave Chirtoaca 53.5 percent of the vote to 46.5 percent for his pro-Russian challenger, Zinaida Greceanai, a former prime minister.

Chirtoaca, who won another four-year mandate, has been mayor of this city of 1 million since 2007. However, leader of the Socialists’ Party Igor Dodon, claimed the ballot was flawed by irregularities.