The pro-EU candidate Andrei Nastase of the Dignity and Truth Political Party (PPDA) won the second round of the elections for Moldova’s capital city Chisinau with 52.6% of the votes. Nastase convincingly defeated his rival, pro-Russian Ion Ceban of the Socialist Party (PSRM), according to preliminary data reported by the electoral commission after counting all ballot papers. The turnout in the second round was 39%.
The outcome of the early local elections in Chisinau came as a surprise in the light of the pre-election polls. It is unclear whether the pro-EU parties can deliver an equally impressive surprise in the general elections scheduled for this autumn, since the pro-Russian Socialists dominate the polls with a massive 40% score — more than double the 19% score of the second-largest party, the Solidarity and Action Party (PAS) led by Maia Sandu, like Nastase a pro-EU opposition politician. But the PAS’ peer the PPDA having already won Chisinau city hall might smooth the cooperation between the two parties by reducing the rivalry between Nastase and Sandu, with a positive impact on the final results.
Ceban and the informal candidate of the senior ruling Democratic Party (PDM) Silvia Radu were originally expected to face off in the second round of local elections, local media reported on May 14 reporting on the latest Public Opinion Barometer conducted by the IPP polling agency. The two candidates for Chisinau city hall were predicted to get 30% and 23% of the votes respectively, with Nastase coming in third place with only 15% of the votes.
In the poll for the general elections scheduled for this autumn carried out by IPP, after President Igor Dodon’s PSRM and the PAS, Vlad Plahotniuc's senior ruling PDM is on (11%) and the PPDA on 7%.
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