Igor Dodon, the leader of Moldova’s Party of Socialists advocating closer relations with Russia, has won the presidential elections in Moldova by the margin of more than 5 percentage points.

 

Igor Dodon

 

According to preliminary data by the Central Electoral Commission after counting 99.42% of ballots Dodon received 54.6% of votes (834,070 votes).

 

Dodon’s rival, Maia Sandu of the EU-leaning Party of Action and Solidarity, scored 47.3% of the vote (749,720 votes).

 

The counting of the remaining 0.58% of ballot of those Moldovan citizens who voted in the embassies of the country in the US and Canada won’t change the outcome of the elections. The gap between the candidates is about 85,000 while the number of ballots to count is less than 17,000.

 

An official with the Central Electoral Commission said that the final results will be announced tomorrow when the commission receives protocols from polling stations.

 

“We have secured a victory. I congratulate Maia Sandu on a worthy result and promise that I will be the President for those who voted for me and also of those who was against me,” Dodon said, when he was congratulated on his victory at a press conference.

 

He called on disappointed supported of his rival to keep peace.

 

“We should not let confrontation in our society happen,” he said.

 

Speaking to a TASS correspondent Dodon said he was confident of his victory.

 

“I was confident of victory. During the campaign that lasted 40 days, together my agents we held more than 15,000 meetings with more than 400,000 voters. People got tired of the seven year rule of the coalition of pro-European parties, poverty, corruption and lawlessness. They want changes, to see Moldova a thriving, integral, strong and sovereign country, cooperating with both West and East, so as our children live in our state, not in a province of some other state. Together we will change the situation in the country for the better,” Dodon said.

 

He stressed that his first foreign visit will be to Moscow “in order to initiate signing of a strategic partnership agreement with Russia, which will envisage economic, social and political cooperation, a common approach to settlement of the TransDniester conflict, guarantees for Moldovan labor migrants in Russia.”