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Moldova votes for development of relations with Russia — president-elect

November 14, 2016, 12:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW

President-elect Igor Dodon does not rule out a referendum on changes to the country’s constitution

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Igor Dodon with son

Igor Dodon with son

© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. Results of the presidential election in Moldova demonstrate that the people have voted for rapprochement with Russia and for settlement of the Transnistria conflict, the republic’s President-elect Igor Dodon said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel on Monday.

"For the first time in the recent seven years, all the pro-Moldova and pro-state forces have united for friendship with Russia, for neutrality, for our Orthodoxy, for the unity of the country in settling the Transnistria conflict," he said. "The first step has been made."

Settlement of the Transnistria conflict at the state level in Moldova may begin in early 2017 as Transnistria elects its president, he said.

"My position remains unchanged," he continued. "We should grant a special status to Transnistria."

"I believe, the country’s federalization is the only solution," he said.

Referendum on wider authorities

Dodon does not rule out a referendum on changes to the country’s constitution on wider authorities of the president.

"A president, elected directly by the nation, has more moral rights to demand reforms and changes, than a parliamentary majority, based on bribes and blackmail," he said. "If the parliamentary majority does not agree with the president’s opinion, then the president may organize a referendum, have the constitution changed, ask for more authorities or dismiss the parliament."

Besides, the republic’s President Dodon plans to insist on early parliamentary elections in Moldova in 2017.

"Like we have said, the presidential election is an in-between stage for the complete victory of the pro-Moldova forces," he continued. "We shall use all constitutional norms and instruments to have early parliamentary elections next year."

Transnistria problem

A Russian legislator said on Monday the victory of the socialists’ leader Igor Dodon will help settling the problem of the republic’s relations with Transnistria.

"The victory at the presidential election in the Republic of Moldova of the Party of Socialists’ leader Igor Dodon may stabilize the situation in the country, improve cooperation between our countries, help in settling the overdue problems in the republic and in the relations with Transnistria," Sergei Zheleznayk (United Russia Party), a member of the lower house’s international affairs committee, said.

He greeted the Moldovans, saying the election campaign was not easy, and congratulated Igor Dodon on his deserved victory.

"Clearly, Igor Dodon’s victory comes from a wide support of his political program, which includes keeping the republic’s sovereignty and the military neutrality," the Russian legislator said, adding it was also very important for the Moldovans to see Dodon’s clear intention to continue fighting influence from various financial organization on the country’s policies.

"The new president is aimed at resuming a fruitful dialogue with Moscow, at bringing to normal and at developing further the Russian-Moldovan relations," he said, expressing hope for future "thorough, civilized discussion of the Transnistria topic with involvement of high-ranking representatives of Transnistria, Moldova and Russia."

"We are ready for cooperation with the Republic of Moldova and hope President Dodon will manage to settle the existing problems and to make necessary changes for the better," he said.

The legislator called on the Moldovans not to yield to possible provocations from destructive forces.

"We hope the Moldovan authorities would not allow any political destabilizing in the country by absolute observing of the constitutional measures to guarantee rights of the voters, who manifested their will at the presidential election, which the republic had for the first time in the recent 16 years," the politician said.

First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich said the outcome of the Moldovan presidential elections provides a glimmer of hope that progress will be made in solving the Transnistrian issue although an early solution should not be expected.

"Dodon’s victory opens new opportunities for a solution to the Transnistrian issue, but it will not happen tomorrow, the future is still vague," the Russian senator said. In his opinion, many factors will influence the situation in the region, including "the general atmosphere in Europe and the level of relations between Russia and Moldova."

According to Klintsevich, Moldova’s elections have in some aspects paralleled the recent US presidential race. "In both cases anti-Russian rhetoric brought about opposite results to those that had been employing it had hoped for," he stressed.

Moldovan election

Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission Alina Russu said earlier Dodon is elected the country’s president.

"In compliance with the legislation, Igor Dodon becomes Moldova’s President as he has gained most of the vote during the second round, which took place on Sunday," she told a news conference.

After counting of 99.9% of the ballots, Dodon gains 835,010 votes, which is 52.25%, and the candidate from the right pro-European parties Maia Sandu - 761,934 votes - 47.71%, she said.

"More than 1,610,527 people participated in the second round, which makes 53.48% of the electorate on the lists for voting," the official said.

 The observer mission of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) reported that Moldova’s presidential elections were held without any serious violations and in line with the country’s legislation.

"There were many complaints, but they had no character that could have affected the elections. The run-off, like the first round, was held in line with the constitution and the Code on elections in the Republic of Moldova," said Alexei Sergeyev, Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Assembly’s Council.

The number of ballot stations abroad was insufficient, Sergeyev said. Due to the lack of voting papers the ballot stations in the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Romania and France were closed earlier than scheduled, he added. "A huge number of people came to just two ballot stations in Moscow. Their closure sparked outrage of citizens who had stood in huge lines."

Dozens of representatives of parliaments of the CIS member-states and other bodies monitored the Moldovan presidential elections on Sunday. They visited 243 ballot stations in 12 constituencies in the country, and also in Baku, Minsk, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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