The local elections in the Republic of Moldova were marked by mostly pro-European options, in many of the municipal councils the party of President Maia Sandu emerged victorious.
After the second round of voting on Sunday, the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) of President Maia Sandu controls a little over a third of the nearly 900 councils in the country, a result that the party considers a success, reports Reuters, quoted by the news. ro.
President Maia Sandu had warned before the elections that the pro-Russian forces in the country, especially the fugitive oligarch Ilan Şor, sent money to Moldova to “buy” voters. Şor’s allies were banned from running two days before the first round, and he, in exile in Israel, complained that this decision cost him electoral success.
Voters in Moldova’s second city, Bălţi, elected as mayor a representative of “Our Party”, a group that demands that Moldova cultivate favorable ties with all its neighbors. Aleksandr Petkov defeated his rival from the pro-Russian Socialist Party.
The elections for the position of mayor of Ungheni municipality were won by the independent candidate Vitalie Vrabie, against the PAS representative.
Also, an independent won in Comrat, the capital of the autonomous region of Gagauzia, in the south of the country, where the regional elections in May had been won by Evghenia Guţul, from Şor’s party.
And in Călăraşi, a city in the center of the country, a PAS candidate will now lead the local council.
Ion Ceban, who ran under the banner of a party founded by him, after previously being elected by the socialists, was re-elected mayor of the capital Chisinau, already in the first short round. Supporters of President Maia Sandu suggest that he might have pro-Russian sympathies, although lately he has changed his political speech compared to when he was elected in his first term.
Pro-Russian localities will receive less money
One of the allies of President Maia Sandu warned the areas that supported his opponents that they will receive less public funds. Igor Grosu, the president of the Moldovan parliament, said that those areas that returned to councils hostile to Maia Sandu’s pro-European initiatives risk not receiving anything from the generous funding offered by the European Union in the last three years. “Those who voted for the representatives of the bandits and those countries that do not wish us well will bear the responsibility for their choice,” he declared at Vocea Bessarabiei. “Those localities that voted for mayors with clear pro-European visions will be the first to they will benefit from the support from the countries of the European Union”, assured Igor Grosu.
Ilan Şor was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for his participation in a huge bank fraud. A party bearing his name was later outlawed by the Constitutional Court. Şor’s supporters were forbidden to run under the banner of another party, for security reasons, two days before the first round of the elections, including Arinei Corşicova, his star candidate from Bălţi.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe stated in a report, after the first round of voting, that the decision to ban some candidates “limited the choice of voters and led to uncompetitive races in some smaller localities”.
Publication date: 20-11-2023 09:20