Moldova’s parliamentary election is today. Here’s a (very) basic outline for those of you unfamiliar with Moldova.
- The 101-seat parliament that is elected today will go on to elect the country’s President.
- Moldova is currently governed by the Communist Party, which turned its back on Russia a year or so ago in favour of closer ties with the EU.
- The Communist Party is expected to defeat the divided opposition, although it may not win enough seats to elect the President without support from some opposition parties.
- One of the wto main opposition parties – the Democratic Moldova Bloc – is fairly pro-Russian, the other – the Christian Democratic Popular Party – promises Ukrainian style protests.
- The Trans-Dniester region, which is run by a
criminal gangseparate government and is currently policed by Russian peacekeepers, is not taking part in the election, although residents of the region are entitled to vote if they can get to a polling station.
If you are looking for a slightly more comprehensive, but still quick-reading outline of the election, the BBC has a very good FAQ, and Scraps of Moscow provides its own eclectic guide to Moldovan internet resources, including links to all the major parties.
The BBC also has a report today about 100 Russians, claiming to be election observers, who have been barred from entry into Moldova. Despite being told bluntly by Moldova that, while they were happy with OSCE observers, Russian and CIS election observers were not wanted, this group of Russians decided not to take the hint:
According to Russian television, the Russians who were detained on a train on Saturday wanted to ensure that the ballot was free and fair.
But the authorities claim they were not registered as monitors.
"These people said they were observers but they don’t have a single document to prove it," a government official told AFP news agency.
Check back over the next few days for election results, and any more breaking news as it happens.