Moldova Holding the Second Round of Presidential Election  

Voters in Moldova are going to the polls Sunday for the second round of presidential election to choose between the pro-Moscow incumbent Igor Dodon and pro-European opposition leader Maia Sandu.   Moldova’s Central Election Commission announced two weeks ago that Sandu had won more votes than Dodon in the first round, but not enough to avoid a runoff. The commission said that after the first round’s tally, former Prime Minister Sandu had 36.10% of the vote, while Dodon had 32.66%. Sandu, 48, ran for Moldova’s top job with a pro-European political platform against a president who had promised to keep close ties with Moscow as a traditionally “strategic partner.” FILE – Incumbent Moldovan President Igor Dodon prepares to cast his vote in the country’s presidential elections in Chisinau, Moldova, Nov. 1, 2020.Dodon, 45, who was the economy minister under a communist government between 2006 and 2009, had also said that the Russian language should become mandatory in schools in Moldova. Moldova, a Soviet republic until 1991, with a population of a little more than 3.5 million, has long been divided between those who promote strong ties with the European Union and those who favor close relations with Moscow.    Situated between Ukraine and Romania, the country’s main language is Romanian, and its cultural heritage is closely linked with that of Romania.     

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