Pro-Russian candidates elected as presidents in Bulgaria, Moldova
SOFIAPro-Russian presidential candidates in Bulgaria and Moldova have been elected for the top posts in the two separate elections held on Nov. 13, results showed.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov tendered his government’s resignation in parliament on Nov. 14 after his center-right GERB party candidate lost the presidential election to a Russia-friendly political novice backed by the opposition Socialists.
Rumen Radev won the Nov. 13 presidential election by a wide margin, partial official results showed, according to Reuters, helped by discontent with Borisov’s failure to combat corruption, disappointment with the European Union and concerns about alienating an increasingly assertive Russia, a historic ally of Bulgaria.
The resignation of Borisov’s minority government is likely to result in months of political uncertainty and will probably spell an early parliamentary election in the spring - further delaying reforms and scaring away investment, analysts said.
Radev, a former air force commander who says Bulgaria needs to be pragmatic in balancing the requirements of its EU and NATO membership and its relations with Russia, won 59.4 percent of the vote, the partial results showed, against 36.2 percent for GERB’s Tsetska Tsacheva.
Borisov said on Nov. 13 he would not try to seek support to form a new government within the current parliament and so did opposition Socialists, making an early election virtually certain for the Black Sea state.
Analysts said Bulgarians punished Borisov for trying to take over all powers in the country, but said his GERB party remains the most popular political faction, even though the Socialists have managed to narrow the gap.
Moldova also elects pro-Russian candidate
Meanwhile, in Moldova, another pro-Russian candidate, Igor Dodon, emerged as the winner of the presidential runoff on Nov. 14, viewed as an East-West choice in the impoverished ex-Soviet country.
With 99.9 percent of ballots counted, Socialist Party chief Dodon had 52.3 percent of the votes, according to the electoral commission, with pro-European rival Maia Sandu on 47.7 percent, AFP reported.
“We have won, everyone knows it,” Dodon told a press conference overnight.
The full results are expected to be announced later this week.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow respected the results of the Moldovan vote and congratulated its winner.
The vote marks the first time in 20 years that Moldova - wracked by corruption scandals in recent years – is electing its leader by national vote instead of having parliament select the head of state.
Wedged between Ukraine and Romania, the tiny nation of 3.5 million people is caught in a political tug-of-war between Russia and the West.
Dodon had come out top in the first round of voting on October 30 with 48 percent ahead of Sandu, a center-right former education minister who worked for the World Bank, with 38 percent.
They have diametrically opposed visions for Moldova’s future.
Dodon - who served as economy minister under a communist government between 2006 and 2009 - has called for deeper ties and boosting trade with Moscow.