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Moldova: Maia Sandu faces victory over Igor Dodon in presidential election

In Moldova a change of direction is apparently imminent after the run-off vote: the pro-European Maia Sandu could replace Igor Dodon as president. It is open whether Dodon would accept defeat.

In the run-off vote for the presidency in Moldova, the pro-European candidate Maia Sandu appears to have won. According to official figures, the former head of government has won 51.2 percent of the vote in the duel with the pro-Russian incumbent Igor Dodon, according to a count of more than 90 percent of the ballot papers. Dodon thus stands at 48.67 percent. The 48-year-old Sandu had already been ahead in the first round of voting two weeks ago.

“I’m pretty optimistic about the results,” Dodon said despite his backlog. On Friday, he called on his supporters to take to the streets if he felt the election had been stolen from him.Moldova is divided between those who want to move closer to the EU and those who want to maintain close ties with Russia. Moldova is considered to be the poorest country in Europe, with a run-off like 2016, but with a different ending?Dodon and Sandu had already competed against each other four years ago. The decision was also only made in a run-off election. The president said on Sunday in his vote that he stands for “friendly relations with our western and eastern partners”. Sandu promised to help the economy out of the crisis by moving closer to the EU. She said at a polling place, “I voted for change.” She also called on election workers to prevent fraudulent voting.

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