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Struggle between supporters and opponents of European integration was in the focus of the election campaign that ended on November 30. For that reason, the polls were called a foreign policy referendum. In summer, Moldova signed an association agreement with the European Union, which cancelled visas for Moldovan citizens. Opinion polls, however showed that the majority of the population in Moldova wanted integration with the Customs Union. More than 90 % of people in the unrecognized Dniester Republic and the Gagauz Autonomy also voted for the integration with the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia) at their referendums.
“It is clear that the current elections were a major success for the pro-Russian forces,” Grigory Dobromelov, director of the Institute of Applied Political Studies, said.
The people of Moldova demonstrated their desire to build closer ties with Russia and the Russia-led Customs Union, Dobromelov went on to say.
Konstantin Romodanovsky, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service, who met Igor Dodon, the head of the Moldovan Party of Socialists, early in November, said that FMS would allow Moldovans who had violated migration rules to go home and take part in the vote. He also promised they would face no barriers or obstacles upon their return to Russia and would be given assistance in getting work permits.
“That step, which was absolutely unique in its nature, produced a significant impact on the state of mind of Moldovan voters. It was extremely important for them that Russia had singled Moldova out of other allies and countries that supply migrants to it,” Dobromelov explained.
He said that Russia has carried out a deep analysis of processes that are taking place in Moldova and that its decision was based on the right vision and understanding of the situation in the country.
“We did not do anything to exert pressure on the people of Moldova but we did, however, do everything to persuade them into making a pro-Russian choice,” Dobromelov concluded.
For the moment, vote count has been completed at 89.4% of the polling stations. The opposition Party of Socialists received 21% of votes; Moldova’s Liberal-Democratic Party (19%); the Communist Party of Moldova that led the elections in the past 15 years gained (17.9%); the Democratic Party of Moldova (15.7%); the Liberal Party of Moldova /9%/.
According to the monitors, these figures make it possible to predict that a coalition of pro-European parties has a chance to form a parliamentary majority, which, nevertheless, will have to reach an agreement with the opposition to elect a new president. Incumbent President Nicolae Timofti is ending his tenure in 2015.
The inability to reach a consensus in appointing the country’s new president plunged Moldova into chaos in 2009.
According to Moldova’s Central Electoral Commission, the turnout at November 30 parliamentary elections was 55%, which was a drop of 8% since 2010.