- Title: Polls close in Moldovan presidential runoff
- Date: 13th November 2016
- Summary: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA (NOVEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS) MAN WALKING OUT OF POLLING STATION MOLDOVAN FLAG BALLOT BOXES AT POLLING STATION AND VOTING STATION OFFICIALS SITTING AT TABLE WOMAN AT VOTING BOOTH MAN CASTING BALLOT WOMAN TALKING TO POLLING STATION OFFICIALS MOLDOVAN COAT OF ARMS ON BALLOT BOX INTERIOR OF POLLING STATION POLLING STATION OFFICIALS LOOKING THROUGH PAPERS VARIOUS OF POLLING STATION OFFICIAL OPENING BALLOT BOX AND EMPTYING OUT BALLOTS BALLOTS ON TABLE VARIOUS OF POLLING STATION OFFICIALS SORTING BALLOTS
- Embargoed: 28th November 2016 21:02
- Keywords: Moldova president election Maia Sandu Igor Dodon polls
- Location: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
- City: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
- Country: Moldova
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00158A1HDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Polling stations closed and vote-counting started on late Sunday (November 13) in Moldova's presidential runoff that could install a pro-Russian candidate as president and slam the brakes on seven years of closer integration with the European Union.
According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), voter turnout was 53.27 per cent at 1900 GMT when stations closed in Moldova.
The CEC reported turnout abroad was higher comparing to the first round. However, according to the CEC, polling stations in Bologna, Paris, Moscow, and Bucharest ran out of ballots before the closure time so that some Moldovan citizens were not able to cast their votes, raising concerns over the fairness of the election.
Socialist Igor Dodon has led the polls and narrowly failed to win an outright majority in the first round of voting at the end of October. His opponent, Maia Sandu, is a pro-Western former World Bank economist who had promised to tackle corruption.
Dodon's status as favourite is in part a reflection of a loss of trust in pro-European leaders in the ex-Soviet state of 3.5 million, which was plunged into turmoil after a corruption scandal came to light in late 2014.
Squeezed between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova signed a political and trade agreement with the bloc in 2014 that damaged its ties with Moscow, which imposed trade restrictions on Moldovan farming exports.
Dodon's Socialist party wants to scrap that agreement in favour of joining a Eurasian Customs Union dominated by Russia.
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