CHISINAU -- Andrei Nastase, the mayor-elect of Moldova’s capital, called on "pro-European, anti-oligarchic" voters and forces to remain united for parliamentary elections later this year.
Nastase, from the Dignity and Truth Platform (DA), was speaking late on June 3 after winning the second round of Chisinau’s snap mayoral election that was seen as a test for the country’s political parties ahead of the general polls.
Nearly final results show that Nastase won 52.6 percent of the votes in the runoff, defeating the candidate of the pro-Moscow Socialist Party, Ion Ceban, who gained 47.4 percent, election authorities said. The turnout was 39 percent.
"Let us continue in the same way, to remain united, and that is how we will succeed in the future, both in parliament and in the other elections," Nastase said.
Standing alongside his ally, Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) leader Maia Sandu said, "Today we have achieved an important victory, and in the autumn we will achieve the next important victory in parliament.”
Before the mayoral vote, the DA and PAS parties agreed to work together to select candidates for the parliamentary elections to defeat the Democratic Party, which is the main force in the governing coalition, and the Socialist Party close to Moscow-friendly President Igor Dodon.
Ceban acknowledged defeat and congratulated Nastase on his election victory, wishing him “success in implementing the program he proposed” for Chisinau.
Ceban won the first round on May 20 with nearly 41 percent of vote, while Nastase obtained just over 32 percent.
Early mayoral elections were also held in Moldova's second-largest city, Balti, where Nicolai Grigorisin, the candidate of the pro-Russia Our Party, won in the first round with 61 percent of the vote.
The snap elections to elect the mayors of Chisinau and Balti for one year were called after the mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, from the pro-European Liberal Party, and Balti Mayor Renato Usatii, the Our Party founder and leader, resigned to protest against criminal cases against them, which they say are politically motivated.