- Title: Polls open in Moldova's presidential election
- Date: 13th November 2016
- Summary: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA (NOVEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS) POLLING STATION, MOLDOVAN FLAG ON WALL, WOMAN TAKING BALLOT, HEADING TO BOOTH WOMAN CASTING VOTE MAN CASTING VOTE ELECTION COMMISSION MOLDOVAN NATIONAL EMBLEM ON BOOTH WOMAN CASTING VOTE (SOUNDBITE) (Moldovan) CHISINAU RESIDENT, GRIGORE FRIPTULEAC, SAYING: "A new president should fight against corruption, fight for the welfare and health of the population, struggle to make the country and its economy flourish. We should develop our economy, take money from the oligarchs, invest in the economy, construct factories and plants, create work places for people, so that people could rejoice in their salaries, pensions and scholarships." SIGN READING (Moldovan and Russian): 'POLLING STATION NUMBER 37' (SOUNDBITE) (Moldovan) CHISINAU RESIDENT, PARASCOVIA OLISEVSCHI, SAYING: "The person I voted for should not be corrupt, this person should be independent of anyone and should work for the good of the people." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) CHISINAU RESIDENT, VIKTOR VOKHMYANIN, SAYING: "I (voted) for the future of Moldova. Law should finally prevail, people should have success, and abandoned factories should be reconstructed. And a billion (euro) that was stolen should be returned." WOMAN ENTERING POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF ELECTION COMMISSION GIVING OUT BALLOTS VARIOUS OF BALLOTS WITH NAMES OF CANDIDATES - SOCIALIST, IGOR DODON, AND PRO-EUROPEAN, MAIA SANDU MAN CASTING VOTE BALLOT BOX MAN CASTING VOTE WOMAN CASTING VOTE SEAL ON TABLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CASTING VOTES
- Embargoed: 28th November 2016 08:13
- Keywords: Moldova Chisinau presidential election polling station polls open
- Location: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
- City: CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
- Country: Moldova
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00158A0JEV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Moldovans cast their votes on Sunday (November 13) in an election that could install a pro-Russian candidate as president and slam the brakes on seven years of closer integration with the European Union.
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.
In another potential blow to the European Union brand, Bulgaria - which also goes to the polls on Sunday - may similarly elect a pro-Russian candidate.
The scandal in Moldova involved the looting of $1 billion - the equivalent of an eighth of its economic output and highlighting the scale of corruption in Europe's poorest nation.
Former prime minister Vlad Filat - one of five prime ministers in three years - was implicated, handcuffed live on TV in parliament and later jailed.
Moldovans believe other members of the pro-EU elite were complicit.
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.
In a sign of the waning enthusiasm for the EU, just 30.9 percent of Moldovans would currently support joining as a full member, compared to 44 percent favouring the Eurasian Customs Union, a survey by Moldova's Institute for Public Policy showed in October.
Two-thirds of Moldovans say they trust Russian leader Vladimir Putin, compared to 22.1 percent trusting outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama and 28.3 percent German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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