UPDATE – Maia Sandu wins Moldova’s presidential election

Pro-Western candidate Maia Sandu has become the first Moldovan female president, winning the second round of the country’s presidential election on Monday.

With 100% of ballots counted, former Prime Minister Sandu has won 57.75% of the votes while her rival, acting President Igor Dodon received 42.25%, the country’s Central Election Commission said.

The voter turnout was 52.78% in the country of over 3.2 million electorates, including those living abroad.

Final results are expected to be announced within three days. The candidate who comes out of the election will be sworn in within 45 days and begin his presidency.

The second round was held on Nov. 15, called after Sandu — also the leader of the Party of Action and Solidarity — and acting President Dodon won the largest number of votes in the first round on Nov. 1, with 3.5% more citizens voting for Sandu.

But none of them gathered 50% plus votes, necessary to win the race.

Dodon had won the 2016 presidential election with 52% of the votes against Sandu, who received 48% in the runoff.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telegram on the Kremlin official website congratulated Sandu over her victory in the election.

“I hope that your activities as the head of state will contribute to the constructive development of relations between our countries. This would undoubtedly meet the fundamental interests of the peoples of Russia and Moldova,” Putin said.

The EU Council’s President Charles Michel in a Twitter post also welcomed Sandu’s election: “The people of Moldova have clearly chosen a course that prioritizes justice, real fight against corruption and a more just society”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Sandu over the phone, and invited her to visit the capital Kiev, and said on Twitter: “I look forward to further strengthening relations between Ukraine and Moldova for the European future of our nations.”

Source: Anadolu Agency