Moldova's pro-Europe parties score victory in key city vote
Moldova's pro-Europe ruling coalition has scored a victory in a key city election that they lost to a Communist in the first round, an election official said Monday, DPA reported.
Dorin Chirtoaca, the incumbent mayor of the Moldovan capital Chisinau, obtained 50.6 per cent of the vote in runoff local elections Sunday, while his Communist rival, Igor Dodon, received 49.4 per cent, said Central Election Committee chief Igor Chokan.
Ballot counts showed Chirtoaca narrowly but decisively ahead of Dodon by a 4,422-vote margin, Chokan was quoted as saying by the Infotag news agency.
Although the result was unlikely to change, it would not become official until the election committee had rechecked all city district counts, he said.
There were no early reports of a Communist challenge to Chirtoaca's apparent victory.
The Moldovan capital has long been a stronghold of anti-Communist sentiment. However, Dordon defeated Chirtoaca in early June in a first-round vote.
A second round runoff between the top two candidates was held because no candidate received 50-per-cent of ballots in the first round.
The election committee chief credited Chirtoaca's Sunday victory to strong support in Chisinau's suburbs.
The Chisinau region contains roughly 20 per cent of the former Soviet republic's population and accounts for an estimated 40 per cent of its gross domestic product, according to government estimates.
An alliance of three centre-right parties, the Alliance for European Integration, holds a narrow majority in Moldova's national parliament.
Chirtoaca is the number two figure in the coalition's junior partner, the Liberal Party of Moldova.