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Pro-Europe, Pro-Russia Parties Split Vote In Moldova

Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca

Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca

Results from Moldova's local elections show the vote being split roughly between pro-European and pro-Russian parties, upsetting forecasts of a big win for the pro-Moscow camp.

With 98.5 percent of votes from the June 14 mayoral and regional elections counted, Moldova's electoral commission said pro-Russian and pro-European parties were virtually tied.

In the capital Chisinau, neither the incumbent mayor, pro-European Dorin Chirtoaca, nor pro-Russian candidate Zinaida Greceanii gained the 50 percent of votes required for a win. A second round will be held in two weeks.

The biggest single upset was in the central town of Orhei, where Ilan Shor was elected mayor with just over 60 percent of votes.

Shor was linked in May to the disappearance of $1 billion in a banking scandal that sparked public protests and prompted pro-European Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici to accuse prosecutors of moving too slowly in the case.

Gaburici then resigned a few days later amid questions about the authenticity of his high school diploma and university degree.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP