CHISINAU, November 30 /TASS/. Parliamentary elections started in Moldova on Sunday. All the 1,978 polling stations opened at 07:00 local time (08:00 Moscow time), Yuri Chokan, chairman of Moldova’s Central Electoral Commission, told TASS.
About 4,000 policemen will guard law and order at the polling stations and more than 3,000 observers will monitor the vote inside the polling stations. They include monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the European Union who will later publish final reports and will give their assessment.
A total of 2,073 polling stations will be open in Moldova, including 95 in foreign countries: 25 - in Italy; 15 - in Romania; 6 - in the United States. Only five polling stations with a total of 15,000 ballot papers will work in Russia where most Moldovan labor migrants work. The Moldovan opposition harshly criticized the authorities of intention to deprive almost one fifth of voters, who traditionally vote for leftist parties, of their right to vote, Chokan stressed.
Konstantin Romodanovsky, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service, who met Igor Dodon, the head of the Moldovan Party of Socialists, early in November said that FMS would allow Moldovans who had violated the migration rules to go home and take part in the vote. He also promised they would face no barriers and obstacles upon their return to Russia and would be given assistance in getting work permits.
Polling stations will be open until 21:00 Moscow time (22:00 Moscow time). The Central Electoral Commission has the right to extend their work for 2 hours at most.
The elections will be recognized to be valid only if one third from the general number of voters will show up at polling stations. The first vote results will be known two hours after the polling stations have been closed. Preliminary results will be known by Monday morning. Monitors from political parties will be engaged in a parallel vote count.