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Court Confirms Pro-Russian Party Excluded From Moldova Vote

Patria party leader Renato Usatii has vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court.
Patria party leader Renato Usatii has vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court.

A court in Moldova has upheld a ban on a new pro-Russian party to compete in the November 30 elections.

The Central Election Commission on November 26 decided to ban the Patria (Homeland) party from the polls because what it said was financial support from abroad.

The Chisinau Appeals Court on November 27 upheld the decision, which can still be challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Patria (Homeland) party is lead by Renato Usatii, a 36-year-old Russian businessman of Moldovan origins.

Usatii, who has been campaigning on an anticorruption platform, called the ruling "a circus" and said he will contest it at the Supreme Court.

Patria was registered as a party in September, and recent opinion polls indicated it would win enough votes to get seats in the new parliament.

The ban on Patria comes after prosecutors this week said they had foiled a Russian-backed attempt to destabilize Moldova after the elections.

Relations between Moldova and Russia are tense especially after the tiny post-Soviet state bordering Ukraine and Romania signed an EU Association Agreement in June.

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