Moldovans elect Maia Sandu as president

Maia Sandu has become the first woman to be elected president of the Republic of Moldova. In the second round she received 57.53 percent of the vote, while incumbent Igor Dodon trailed behind at 42.47 percent. Sandu, who was prime minister for a short time in 2019, is considered pro-European, but her election campaign was primarily directed against the current leadership. What factors were decisive for her victory?

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A vote against corruption

Sandu's election victory is also a vote against corruption in the country, puts in:

“The presidential election in the Republic of Moldova was a first. The vote wasn't geopolitical but centred on governance and corruption. To all intents and purposes Maia Sandu left issues such as Romania, the EU and Russia out of her discourse, concentrating fully on the disastrous leadership record of the Socialist government under Igor Dodon. ... The shock wave provoked by the corruption and incompetence of the Dodon regime penetrated practically the whole society. Regardless of whether they are pro-European or pro-Russian, the majority of citizens have given the incumbent president his marching orders. Sandu's large lead leaves no room for interpretation.”

Ziare (RO) /

A new government needed to push through reforms

The new head of state can do little on her own, writes analyst Cristian Hrituc in Ziare:

“Maia Sandu is a president surrounded by hostile forces. The Moldovan state has been captured and it will not be easy to free it. The first step that needs to be taken is to replace the government [set up by Dodon's Socialists]. ... Parliamentary arithmetic shows us that this is only possible through complicated negotiations involving many compromises and adjustments that would damage the image of the newly elected president. But there is no other way. The situation caused by the pandemic and the economic situation are so serious that a competent government is needed that works in partnership with the president.”

Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Putin put his money on the wrong horse

The Kremlin miscalculated in the Republic of Moldova, Echo of Moscow observes:

“We should not forget that Putin provided aid for drought-plagued farmers in Moldova shortly before the election. Or that Russia was willing to provide a 200 million dollar loan to Chişinău if Dodon won. Once again we've bet on the wrong horse. Our horses don't finish the race, or if they do, then only in armoured vehicles and protected by police shields and water cannons. ... Now Dodon is no longer tsar and Moldova is ruled by people who will speak in a friendly tone to Russia, but their sincere smiles will be reserved for the West.”