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Opposition candidates win mayoral elections in two Moldovan cities

June 15, 2015, 9:36 UTC+3 CHISINAU

A second round is needed to declare the winner in the capital

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CHISINAU, June 15. /TASS/. Opposition candidates have secured victory in the mayoral elections in two large cities of Moldova - Beltsi and Orgeev, the Central Election Commission said on Monday.

The commission announced the preliminary results of Sunday’s local elections after 98.7% of the vote has been counted. Moldovans were to elect 898 mayors and 11,680 local councilors.

The leader of Our Party, a well-known Russian businessman of Moldovan origin, Renato Usatii, has received more than 72% of the vote in the country’s second largest city Beltsi, also known as the "northern capital."

In Orgeev, some 40 kilometers from Chisinau, Ilan Shor, who is the husband of Russian singer Jasmin, won more than 61% of the vote. The businessman is accused of carrying out bank fraudulent schemes. In early May, Shor was placed under the house arrest. The court allowed him to conduct the election campaign.

In the capital Chisinau, two candidates - Zinaida Greceanii from the pro-Russian opposition Party of Socialists and Dorin Chirtoaca, from the pro-Romanian Liberal Party, who has been the mayor since 2007, won almost an equal amount of the vote, the commission said.

Greceanii, who has got 35.95% of the vote and her challenger Chirtoaca, who won 37.39%, will face each other in a runoff due on June 28. A total of 17 candidates competed for the mayor’s post.

The situation is also unclear in the municipal council of Chisinau where the ruling parties and the opposition received almost the same amount of the vote. An agreement on creating a coalition will be needed to form an efficient council.

Sunday’s polls came amid the crisis as the government’s policy towards the EU integration is growing more unpopular. This is also due to the recent corruption scandals and the power struggle inside the ruling pro-European coalition that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici just a day before the vote.

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