Moldova voted for the president in Moscow's eyes

Moldovan is voting Sunday to elect a  Moscow-supervised president who wants the polarized country to remain in orbit amid political and security crises on Russia's borders.

 

Moldova voted for the president in Moscow's eyes

Despite its small size, politics in tiny Moldova, which is between Ukraine and Romania, a NATO member, has long been highly sensitive.

 

Particularly in Romania, and among those who support closer ties with the European Union, and with Soviet-era ties to Moscow, the country of 3.5 million is divided’.

 

Pro-Moscow leader Igor Dodon came to power in 2016 and beat his pro-Western rival Maya Sandu, who wants Moldova to join the European Union. He is now seeking a new four-year mandate in the November 1 election, hoping Sandu will lose again.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week expressed hope that Moldovan voters would support Dodon, saying his country's economy was badly affected’ by the Corona virus outbreak and was closely linked to Russia.

 

"We see what is happening around Moldova, and we know that the people of Moldova need to develop both democracy and the economy," he said.

 

Moscow wants to maintain democracy in Moldova, said Valerio Pasha, an analyst at Moldova Watchdog, a think tank. "The current government is completely subordinate to the Kremlin," Pasha told AFP.

 

Dodon, who served as economy minister under the communist government between 2006 and 2009, has vowed to maintain close ties with Moldova's "strategic partner" Russia, saying the Russian language is a It should be compulsory in schools again.

 

- Between East and West -

 

Some have found the former Socialist Party leader's program uncertain.

 

"As long as we vote for the Socialists, we will never get out of poverty," Ian Enache, 62, told AFP in central Chisinau.

 

"We need a president whose heart beats with the unity of the country."

 

Ekaterina Radetskaya, 69, disagreed, saying Dodon deserved a second chance.

 

"He is a good man and a good president," he told AFP. He insisted that opponents had prevented the 45-year-old leader from implementing his program.

 

Dodon's rival Sandu, 48, is a right-wing opposition candidate who briefly served as prime minister in June-November 2019.

 

"I will promote a foreign policy that will benefit Moldovan and move the country forward on the path to an alliance with the European Union," he told supporters in a video address on Facebook.

 

For Gheorghe Istrate, a 59-year-old Chisinau resident, this is the right direction for the country that was part of the Soviet Union between 1940 and 1991.

 

"We've been living under the gamble of Russia for 70 years, which has made us vassals," said Istrate, who works in a bakery. "We have had enough."

 

- Belarus-style demonstrations? -

 

Experts predict a run-off because neither Dodon nor Sandu will have a clear majority on Sunday.

 

In addition to the pair, six other candidates are running.

 

Last week, Russia accused the United States of plotting a "revolution" in Moldova and Washington of similar interference in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.

 

In an unusual public statement, Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), accused Washington of trying to win the election and of taking to the streets to oppose Moldova after the vote. Is provoking to come out so that its authenticity can be’ condemned. Request to play again.

 

Sandu says there have been weeks of protests in former Soviet Belarus. While the opposition has accused powerful Alexander Lukashenko of rigging the presidential election, there should be a warning to Moldova.

 

Radetskaya, a pro-Dodon voter, said he was concerned that a Belarus-style opposition could split Moldova after the election.

 

"It could happen here," he said.

 

 


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