Moldova. Second round of local elections
BSSB.BE http://www.infotag.md 29.06.2015
Chisinau. This Sunday, the Republic of Moldova is holding the second round of ordinary local elections, at which citizens are to elect mayors in those 457 cities, towns and villages, including Chisinau and Comrat, where candidates failed to win more than 50% ballots in the first round on June 14, so those two finalists who polled the most of all the rest competitors in a given locality are trying their luck in the second round.
Today, mayoral mandates are being contested by 914 candidates – 208 women and 706 men. Besides, two villages – Topala in the Cimislia Raion and Ulmu in the Ialoveni Raion – are having repeated elections. The first round of elections was cancelled in the two localities because in Topala a scuffle broke out between voters at the local polling station. And in Ulmu, most residents decided to boycott the elections, so the voter turnout there was forbiddingly low.
In Chisinau, besides the capital city’s ‘general primar’ – big mayor, mayors are being elected in 12 Chisinau suburban communities. In them, voters receive two ballot-papers – one to elect their community mayor and the other to elect Chisinau Mayor. Unlike them, the residents of the ‘big Chisinau’ are electing only their mayor, not community chiefs.
In the capital city, the mayoral post is being contested by the incumbent [since 2007] city father, 36-year-old First Deputy Chairman of the Liberal Party Dorin Chirtoaca and the 59-year-old candidate (but not member) of the Party of Socialists, Member of Parliament Zinaida Grechanaya.
In the first round, the prestigious post was sought by 17 candidates. Chirtoaca then polled 37.52% (111,075) votes, while Grechanaya – 35.68% (105,644) votes.
Sharpness to the day of June 28 is added by a highly politicized atmosphere of elections in Chisinau. The thing is, the Socialists regard the historic date of June 28, 1940 as the day of liberation of Moldova by the Soviet Union from under the Romanian occupation of 1918-1940. The Liberal Party leaders, renowned for their strong anti-Soviet, anti-Russia and pro-Romania moods, have a diametrically different conviction – that June 28 is the date of the beginning of Soviet occupation. And though a year later, in June 1941, Bessarabia was “liberated from the Soviets” by Hitler’s Nazi and Romanian troops, the period of Nazi freedom lasted only 3 years, and in August 1944 the Red Army once again “occupied” this land by defeating and throwing out the Nazi/Romanian armed forces.
Young Mayor Chirtoaca regards the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia [the present-day mainland Republic of Moldova – without the Transnistrian region] to be very important, though tragic, an event that may not be forgotten by generations of Moldovans to come, so he has erected a remembrance stone in the city’s central square. After the voting today, the Liberal Party leadership invited citizens to come to the stone to lay flowers.
In Comrat, the administrative center of the southern Moldovan autonomous region of Gagauzia, the mayoral post is being contested by Democratic parliamentarian Nikolai Dudoglo and a prominent local man of business Sergey Anastasov who represents the pro-Russia Partidul Nostru [Our Party] headed by Renato Usatii.
In the first round, mayors were elected in 439-of-898 populated areas of Moldova. The Liberal Democratic Party received 181 mayoral mandates, the Democratic Party – 147 mandates, the Communist Party – 31, and the Party of Socialists 22.
For the second round, the Central Election Commission has printed 1,941,000 ballot-papers. For the second round, the Government allocated from its Reserve Fund over 15 million lei (nearly US$800,000). And on the whole, the 2015 local election campaign has taken more than 80 million lei from the State Budget.
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