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Voting over at Moldova’s direct presidential elections, voter turnout nears 49%

October 30, 2016, 22:42 UTC+3 CHISINAU

The Central Election Commission has received no complaints from the candidates

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© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

CHISINAU, October 30. /TASS/. Voting at Moldova’s presidential elections is over as all the polling stations in the country closed at 21:00 local time (22:00 Moscow time). Voting continues at polling stations in Western countries where polling stations will close at 21:00 local time, Chairperson of Moldova’s Central Election Commission Alina Russu said.

"In general, we saw an adequate electoral process, with rather high turnout. The Central Election Commission has received no complaints from the candidates. No violations capable of impacting the results were reported either," she said.

According to preliminary results, the voter turnout was 48.9%, or by about two percent higher than at the parliamentary elections in 2014. The threshold needed to recognize elections as valid is 33.3% The voter turnout at Moldova’s previous direct elections of the president back in 1996 was 68%

On Sunday, Moldova elected its president in a nationwide voting, for the first time after a twenty-year break. Nine candidates were vying for the office. According to opinion polls, the two major rivals are Igor Dodod, the leader of the opposition Party of Socialists, and Maia Sandu, the leader of the Party of Action and Solidarity. Whereas Sandu stands for preserving the country’s pro-European course, Dodon is critical about the association agreement Moldova signed with the European Union in 2014 and stands for strategic partnership with Russia. The winning candidate is to score 50% plus one vote.

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