Moldova parliamentary elections highlight tensions over shift to the West

Moldova parliamentary elections highlight tensions over shift to the West

Today, Moldova will vote in parliamentary elections which are expected to see the pro-Russian Socialists win the most seats in

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Photo: Reuters

Today, Moldova will vote in parliamentary elections which are expected to see the pro-Russian Socialists win the most seats in the 101-seat parliament.

At play, a genuine three-way contest between the Socialists, the ruling pro-western and scandal-plagued Democrats and the pro-EU, anti-establishment ACUM bloc, which refuses to govern with the other two major parties. Regardless, the Socialists are favoured to form government given the strong polling of pro-Russian minor parties, though they will likely need to rely on minor parties to form government.

A Socialist-led government will naturally orient towards Moscow’s interests in Moldova. In the breakaway region of Transnistria, the Socialists support a peace plan that suits “all parties” with interests in the mostly ethnic-Russian and Ukrainian region—a status quo that keeps Russian troops in the region indefinitely.

However, the Kremlin-friendly pivot will likely be more nuanced than under previous pro-Russian governments. 66% of Moldova’s exports are sent to the EU and most remittances– a major part of the Moldovan economy– flow from the EU. As such, expect Chisinau to honour many major agreements it has with the bloc, like the EU Association Agreement.

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