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CHISINAU -- Moldovans living abroad say they would like to vote in the upcoming general elections but can't afford a trip to their country's nearest embassy to do so.

The head of a group of some 50,000 Moldovans in the United States told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that it is a shame that so many of his countrymen living in California or another far away location cannot travel to Washington to cast their ballots in the April 5 elections.

Other Moldovan communities in Russia and Italy say they have the same problem.

Moldovan election officials told RFE/RL that the country is too poor to set up more consulates but plans to introduce more flexible rules for voting abroad.

It is estimated that as many as 25 percent of Moldova's 4 million citizens are working abroad, making Moldova one of the top per capita remittance receivers in the world.
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