Moldovans have finished voting in the snap general election to choose 101 lawmakers for the country's parliamentImage: Gavriil Grigorov/dpa/TASS/picture alliance
PoliticsRepublic of Moldova
Moldova election: Pro-EU party headed to victory
July 11, 2021
The country's president, Maia Sandu, called the snap election in April after two attempts to form a government failed. She wants to stem Russian influence and bring the impoverished country closer to the EU.
Moldovans voted on Sunday in a snap election called by the country's president in a bid to weaken the influence of pro-Russia parties.
The opposition led by former President Igor Dodon and former President Vladimir Voronin has garnered over 27% of the vote.
What has Moldova's leadership said about the election?
Sandu, who defeated Kremlin-backed Dodon for the top job in November, said the vote was "a chance to get rid of thieves and choose a holistic and good government."
"It’s time to clear the country of clans, corrupt officials and manipulators,” she added.
Sandu has pledged that her center-right Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) will build closer ties with the EU and fight corruption in the ex-Soviet country.
The former World Bank economist, 49, wants to overhaul the judicial system, raise salaries and pensions and amend the constitution to make it easier to punish graft.
The ex-Soviet state is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Sandu dissolved parliament in April after two failed attempts to form a government. Dodon's Socialist Party, which formed an alliance with the communists, claimed Sandu's pro-Western policy would lead to the collapse of the state.
Why is Russia's influence strong in Moldova?
Moldova lies between Ukraine and EU member Romania, where both Brussels and Moscow vie for influence.
Most of Moldova's territory was annexed from Romania by the Soviet Union during WWII.
The overwhelming majority of the country's 3.5 million population speaks Romanian as their first language, but Russian is commonly used among minorities living in the country. Several big political parties also favor closer ties to Russia.