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Moldovan Court Annuls Chisinau Mayoral Election Results

The leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform, Andrei Nastase, casts his ballot in local elections in Chisinau on May 20.

CHISINAU -- A court in Moldova's capital has not validated the mandate of Andrei Nastase, whose election victory in the mayoral election earlier this month had been challenged by opponents.

The Chisinau City Court on June 19 declared the results of the snap election null, after postponing the hearing into the matter twice.

Nastase, of the pro-European Dignity and Truth Platform, said he will challenge the court ruling and called on protesters to continue rallying in his support.

Nastase won more than 52 percent of the votes in a runoff on June 3, defeating the candidate of the Moscow-friendly Socialist Party, Ion Ceban, according to election authorities.

The Socialist Party filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, alleging electoral violations.

Nastase supporters have rallied in Chisinau, accusing the authorities of intentionally blocking him from taking office.

The election was seen as a test for the country’s political parties ahead of the general polls.

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.

Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, is divided between forces supporting pro-Russian President Igor Dodon and those backing the government, which is pushing for closer ties with the EU and the United States.