✅ Moldova’s pro-Russian presidential candidate Igor Dodon swept to victory in the second round of voting on November 13. His win could pave the way for snap parliamentary elections which may oust the current government which favors closer relations with the European Union.
✅ A $1 billion corruption scandal in 2014 was a bad blow in voters’ trust of pro-EU leaders. The ‘theft of the century’ led to the then prime minister being jailed.
✅ Dodon’s Socialist Party has promised to scrap an E.U. trade agreement signed in 2014 in favor of joining the Eurasian Economic Union dominated by Russia. Yet Moldova largely relies on financial support from the E.U. and International Monetary Fund, making such a deal questionable.
✅ Dodon has frequently expressed admiration of President Vladimir Putin and led smear campaigns against his female rival candidate Maia Sandu. Supporters of Mr. Dodon questioned the morality of the former World Bank economist because she is neither married or has a child.
✅ In an interview with Hromadske, Maxim Edwards, an editor at Open Democracy Russia explained the background of the elections and how religion, family values, the influence of oligarchs and the banking scandal played into the final result.