Nov 30, 2014 10:04 PM
Partial results: Moldova parties favoring EU ahead
The Associated Press
CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) Partial results from elections in Moldova show parties that want to move closer to Europe leading those that favor returning into Moscow's sphere of influence.
Sunday's parliamentary election has taken on wider significance with the unrest in neighboring Ukraine. Moldova, like Ukraine, has a pro-Russia separatist region in its east.
With 87.7 percent of the vote counted early Monday, the pro-Europe parties were ahead with about 44.4 percent, with 39.5 percent for the two pro-Russia parties. Parties need to get at least 6 percent to gain seats in the 101-member Parliament.
The surprise leader was the strongly pro-Russia Socialists' Party, which was in first place with 21.6 percent.
The Liberal Democrat Party, which wants to join the European Union, was in second place. "Moldova must remain an independent state and not a vassal state," party leader Vlad Filat said, alluding to Russia.
Analysts say the Socialists scored much better than predicted because a day before the elections, the country's top court banned another pro-Russian party, Patria, from competing on the grounds it illegally received foreign funding. Its supporters likely switched to the Patria party.