The incumbent pro-European Union mayor of the capital of Moldova won the runoff vote against a pro-Russian opponent on Sunday (28 June), securing a third term in office, the country’s electoral commission said Monday.
The results of the election were split in 53.54% for Dorin Chirtoaca of the Liberal Party of Moldova, and 46.46% for Russian-born Zinaida Greceanii, from the Party of Socialists.
The vote went to a runoff when neither candidate secured over 50% of support on 14 June, during first round of voting in the city of around 500,000.
“This is a very important victory that means the continuation of pro-European reforms in Chisinau and moving Moldova along the path of European integration,” Chirtoaca said.
Pro-Russian candidates still secured seats in several key towns in the country, which borders Ukraine and Romania, and has Russian troops stationed in a breakaway region of Transnistria.
Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, last year signed an Association Agreement taking it closer to European Union membership, despite opposition from its former Soviet master, Russia, and from its pro-Russian politicians, including the Communists.
Disagreement over a similar pact sparked the current crisis in neighbouring Ukraine, which has seen Russia accused of fuelling a bloody separatist conflict in the east of the ex-Soviet country.