Two million and a half Republic of Moldova citizens are expected to vote today in the parliamentary early elections, between 7 AM and 9 PM. This is meant to get the Republic of Moldova out of the current political crisis, after the 5th of April elections controversy triggered social unrest and the dissolving of the Parliament.

UPDATE (1:02 PM) By 1 PM (the local time), 22.8% of the Moldavians have voted. The most active have been voters in Basarabeasca - 42.5% elected already. The lowest vote presence is currently recorded in Chisinau - 8.3% by 11 o'clock.

Bu 11:35, Jurnal de Chisinau announced that 10.8% of the mature population voted, meaning 280,206 people. Residents of Donduseni region were most active: 17.8% exercised their wish.

The first incidents took place in the morning in Corjova, Dubasari, where unidentified persons blocked a voting section. The Central Electoral Commission said the voters may attend neighbouring voting sections.

Incumbent president Vladimir Voronin voted around 8:45 AM at the Russian language high school "Antioh Cantemir".

The communists stand the best chances

The main parties running for the elections are:

  • the Communist Party (PCRM), lead by Vladimir Voronin, in power since 2001 - the group sustains it defends Moldova's integrity and sovereignty;
  • the Liberal Party (PL), a centre-right formation led by Mihai Ghimpu;
  • the Liberal-Democratic Party of the Republic of Moldova (PDLM), headed by Vlad Filat;
  • the Democratic Party, a central formation, led by Marian Lupu;
  • the Moldova Noastra Alliance (AMN), an anti-communist party, lead by Serafim Urecheanu.

The parties need to get at least 5% of the votes in order to access to the Parliament in Chisinau.

The communists state their goal is to strengthen Moldova’s independence, while the opposition hopes to say goodbye to communism.

785 persons, most of them members of the Communist Party, are running for the 101 mandates. 73 people run independently.

For the first time in the history of the Republic of Moldova, the elections are held on a Wednesday, instead on a Sunday. The commentators say that voting during a week day, when people work, restricts access to voting, especially for the ones living overseas, forced to travel tens or hundreds of kilometres in order to vote.

2.600 national observers and almost 500 international have been accredited as observers. Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, has 4.3 million residents, out of which 64% Moldavians, 14% Ukrainians, 13% Russians and 3.5% gagauzi.

The early general elections on Wednesday, July 29, have been set up after incumbent president Vladimir Voronin dissolved the Parliament who failed twice to select a new chief of state. The parliamentary elections on April 5 were followed by violent street clashes between order forces and protesters, the latter calling the elections a fraud. The authorities in Chisinau, Moldova's main city, accused Romania of getting involved in the social unrest, an accusation firmly denied by Romanian officials.