What Happened: The pro-Russian Socialist Party gained the most votes in Moldova's Feb. 24 parliamentary elections with 31.33 percent, followed by the pro-European group ACUM with 26.44 percent and the Democratic Party at 23.82 percent, Moldova.org reported Feb. 25. The Moldovan parliament now has 45 days to form a new government before the president dissolves the legislature and calls for new elections.
Why It Matters: The results show no clear winner between the Socialist Party and ACUM, although the latter has brought forward allegations of voter fraud and its leaders have threatened to hold protests over the vote. However, international observers maintain that basic voting principles were upheld, although they acknowledged strong evidence of vote buying. A potential coalition between the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party would likely stall Moldova's integration process with the European Union and reorient the country's foreign policy toward Russia.
Background: Moldova's parliament is broadly divided between pro-European and pro-Russian forces; a pro-European coalition held a parliamentary majority before the election.
- Moldova's Elections Could Shift the Country's Focus East (Oct. 18, 2018)
- Moldova: Parliament Appoints New Defense Minister, After Suspending the President (Oct. 24, 2017)
- The Front Line Drawn Across Russia's Backyard (Aug. 8, 2017)