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Yevgeny Shevchuk wins transnistria elections

December 26, 2011, 12:34 UTC+3

Preliminary results of the second round of the presidential election will be announced in Transnistria on Monday

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MOSCOW, December 26 (Itar-Tass) — Preliminary results of the second round of the presidential election will be announced in Transnistria on Monday. The breakaway republic’s top post was contested by the Moscow-backed speaker of parliament and chairman of the ruling party Obnovleniye (Renewal) Anatoly Kaminsky (26.3 percent) and former speaker of the local parliament, leader of the Vozrozhdeniye (Renaissance) movement Yevgeny Shevchuk. It is Shevchuk, that, according to a source in the Transnistrian Central Election Commission (CEC), quoted by Vedomosti, that has been elected president. According to the source, in the second round Shevchuk scored 73.88 percent of the vote, his opponent Anatoly Kaminsky - 19.67 percent, and there were 4.45 percent votes against all candidates. The first round of the presidential election in which incumbent President Igor Smirnov lost, took place in Transnistria on December 11, the second round was held on Sunday, December 25.

The election race’s favourite was by default Yevgeny Shevchuk, Kommersant writes. In the first round he scored 38.5 percent of the vote, far ahead of the two nearest competitors - Igor Smirnov (24.6 percent) and Anatoly Kaminsky (26.3 percent). Despite the substantial lead in the first round, nobody dared to predict the ultimate victory of Yevgeny Shevchuk. Mainly because that although both candidates were running under the pro-Russian slogans, Moscow has supported only one of them - Anatoly Kaminsky. And the support was not only a political one.

For example, on the eve of the second round the Obnovleniye party reported that an agreement has been reached with the Russian government on the provision Transnistria of financial assistance in the amount of 300 million US dollar. For Kaminsky, who built his campaign just on promises to ensure financial support for the republic from the Russian Federation, it was very handy.

However, whoever wins the second round, the Russian Foreign Ministry believes that Moscow has already fulfilled the main task for the current Trans-Dniester elections, Kommersant stresses. And fulfilled it successfully. The thing is that since the beginning of this year the Kremlin has made repeated attempts to dissuade Igor Smirnov from running for a fifth presidential term. Smirnov has lost the favour of the Russian authorities for many reasons. Also due to the opaque distribution of Russia’s humanitarian aid in the Dniester Republic, and also because of reluctance to negotiate with Chisinau on the model of a common state.

The stubborn Transnistrian leader did not heed Moscow’s advice not to lay claims to power again. Then an information warfare was launched against him, and several criminal cases were opened against his younger son Oleg, including over embezzlement of 160 million roubles of Russia’s aid. It paid off - Igor Smirnov lost the election in the first round. “The main task has been fulfilled: Smirnov is no longer president,” a high-ranking source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told the publication. “In this situation it makes no difference to us who is elected the next head of the republic, Shevchuk or Kaminsky.”

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