13:48 GMT +312 December 2018
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    A member of a local electoral commission carries a ballot box at a polling station ahead of the presidential election in Chisinau, Moldova, October 29, 2016.

    Dodon Retains Lead in Moldovan Presidential Elections as 75% Votes Counted

    © REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
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    Socialist Party’s leader Igor Dodon is still leading in the presidential elections with 51.39 percent as 75.06 percent of the votes have been counted, according to the Moldovan Central Election Commission (CEC).

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Central Election Commission (CEC) recognized the elections as valid as the turnout exceeded 33.3 percent. A candidate needs to gain 50 percent and one vote to win the elections.

    "Igor Dodon gains 51.39% or 459,034 of votes, Maia Sandu [gets] 35,25% or 314,844 votes," the CEC said in a statement issued on its website.A total of 1,981 polling stations were opened in Moldova and 100 more — abroad, including 25 in Italy, 11 in Romania, eight in Russia and two in Ukraine.

    In March, the constitutional court ruled that Moldova's president should be elected by popular vote for the first time since 1996, replacing the system that had the parliament pick the nation's leader. Nine candidates are seeking the presidency. According to political analysts, the major candidates are the Socialist Party's Igor Dodon, who is a supporters of stronger ties with Russia, and pro-European Action and Solidarity Party's Maia Sandu. If no candidate wins an outright majority in the first round, there will be a runoff on November 13.


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