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    Transdnestr presidential runoff due Dec. 25

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    The second round of voting in presidential polls in the breakaway Moldovan republic of Transdnestr will take place on December 25, election officials said on Friday.

    The second round of voting in presidential polls in the breakaway Moldovan republic of Transdnestr will take place on December 25, election officials said on Friday.

    The ex-speaker of the republic's government, Yevgeny Shevchuk, and Supreme Council Chairman Anatoly Kaminsky will face off in the runoff after taking 38.55 percent and 26.3 percent of the vote in the first round.

    Outgoing president Igor Smirnov, who sought his fifth presidential term, garnered 24.66 percent of the vote. Election officials rejected his appeal to declare the vote invalid, saying there were no grounds to do so.

    The Russian-speaking region gained de facto independence from Moldova in 1992. It is seeking full independence, but Moldova says it is only prepared to allow autonomy.

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