Pro-European Maia Sandu wins Moldova’s presidential election

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The pro-EU opposition candidate Maia Sandu has won the presidential election in Moldova, the central electoral commission announced on Monday.

Sandu received almost 57 percent of the vote in the second round of the presidential election, against 43 percent for the incumbent president Igor Dodon.

Sandu lost the election to Dodo four years ago. She was previously Prime Minister of Moldova and before that Minister of Education.

The population of the former Soviet republic is divided across the EU. Led by President Dodon, a large part wants to maintain close relations with Russia, while the other part is for rapprochement with the EU.

The country is wedged between Ukraine and Romania. Moldova was part of the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1991. Since that union collapsed, Moldova has been in an almost permanent crisis. Part of the country is effectively separated and in the hands of pro-Russian separatists.

Moldova is smaller than the Netherlands and has 3.5 million inhabitants. It is the poorest country in Europe with a gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant of approximately $ 7,500. The Dutch equivalent is about eight times as high.

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