MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. The first round of the presidential elections giving Igor Dodon Moldova’s Socialist Party leader 48.26% of the vote shows that there is strong support for the policy aimed at Eurasian integration and developing closer ties with Moscow, head of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov told TASS on Monday.
In his opinion, "The West will now try to urge voters to support [Dodon’s rival representing the pro-European coalition, Maia] Sandu." "But I hope that the Russia-oriented forces who stand for Eurasian integration, will have common sense and support Dodon," the Russian MP added.
As the State Duma observers said, there had been no serious irregularities that could have affected the voting process, Kalashnikov noted.
According to Leonid Slutsky, the head of Russia’s State Duma International Affairs Committee, Moldova could join the projects of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) if Igor Dodon is elected president.
"If Igor Dodon is elected President, I do not rule out that Moldova could start negotiations on its involvement in the Eurasian Union’s projects," Slutsky said commenting on the preliminary results of voting in Moldova’s presidential election. He noted that "the leader of the Party of Socialists sets sensible goals and talks about real ways and plans to attain them."
Slutsky described Dodon as "a pro-Moldovan presidential candidate rather than a pro-Russian one." "That is why he enjoys such huge popularity in the society, which is tired of the artificial antagonism with Russia. Dodon favors constructive cooperation with Russia and the EAEU agencies that are gaining momentum," he said.
According to the initial results, at the elections held on Sunday the Socialist Party leader Igor Dodon garnered 48.26% (or 678,839 votes) while his chief rival, Maia Sandu, received 38.42% (540,432 votes).
To secure victory in the first round, a candidate needed to gain 50% plus one vote. The preliminary results show that a second round of the presidential elections will have to be conducted, it is scheduled to be held two weeks after the first round on November 13.
According to the country’s Central Election Commission, Dmitry Chubashenko, the presidential candidate from "Our Party", who supports closer relations with Russia, came third gaining 6.01% of the vote. Former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca received 3.1%, while Liberal Party Chairman Mihai Ghimpu who seeks Moldova’s unification with Romania, got 1.8%. Other presidential candidates gained even less votes, with their results coming in a range of statistical uncertainty.
Turnout for the presidential elections was 48.97%.