Moldova presidential election: few remarks

With 95,66% of the ballots processed, it is clear that Maia Sandu is set to become the 6th president – and the first female president – since the independence of Moldova in 1991. A few remarks on the vote proper (more on political consequences tomorrow).

With 95,66% of the ballots processed, it is clear that Maia Sandu is set to become the 6th president – and the first female president – since the independence of Moldova in 1991. A few remarks on the vote proper (more on political consequences laterWith 95,66% of the ballots processed, it is clear that Maia Sandu is set to become the 6th president – and the first female president – since the independence of Moldova in 1991. A few remarks on the vote proper (more on political consequences tomorrow).).

Voting was peaceful despite each side accusing the other of frauds, vote buying, busing of voters (either from Transnistria or to embassies abroad) and more globally hate speech, fake news and disinformation during the campaign. Seems like unavoidable ground dirt that does not question the overall legitimacy of this election.

Turnout reached 52,72% at the closing of the polling stations. It is more than in the 1st round (42,7%). Turnout increased in all constituencies, which shows genuine interest of Moldovan voters in the election. It should also dilute accusations of busing of voters and votes buying.

Sandu’s main strongholds are the capital city Chisinau (about 60%) and the abroad voting (about 70%). She also won both during 1st round. Mobilization of voters abroad was exceptional: almost 258,866 people cast their ballots today. Several embassies ran out of ballots. Let’s remember that about 1,2 million Moldovans, that is one third of the population, live and work abroad.

Dodon wins strong support in the north of the country, Gagauzia (about 95%) and among voters from Transnistria (85,80%). The president has shown that he could secure support from rural areas and traditionally Soviet-nostalgic / Russia-friendly / socially conservative voters.

Yet the picture is a bit more nuanced in 2 constituencies “ruled” by supposedly pro-Russian politicians. In Ohrei, almighty oligarch Ilan Shor (albeit on the run since last year) called to vote for Igor Dodon but Maia Sandu won with 70,28% of the votes. In Balti, mayor Renato Usatii called to vote in favour of Maia Sandu to defeat his enemy Igor Dodon. Yet the president wins the city with more than 61% of the votes. This shows both some fragmentation of supposedly pro-Russian voters and limited influence of regional barons.

Again, kudos to the central election committee to process ballots so fast. The official website monitors the election day in real time and it publishes results super fast in the evening. Quite an example.

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