AndIn a statement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova welcomed the “strengthening” of the opposition in several cities, including the capital, Chisinau.
“This happened despite an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition and independent media,” Maria Zakharova accused.
The actor accused the Moldovan authorities of “intimidating voters” and “discriminating against candidates.”
Two days before the elections, the pro-European government disqualified candidates from the pro-Russian Opportunity Party, on charges of benefiting from secret Russian funding for their campaign.
Observers deployed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) deplored the “restrictions” imposed by the government, in the name of the state of emergency, on “freedom of expression and the right to present themselves” and “external interference.” .
For its part, Russia has carried out a widespread crackdown on independent media, NGOs, lawyers and opponents since the beginning of its attack on Ukraine in February 2022.
In Moldova, the pro-European party claimed first place in nearly two-thirds of regions, winning 240 of nearly 900 municipal councils.
The second round is scheduled to take place on November 19.
Following Russia’s invasion of its large Ukrainian neighbour, Moldova, which has a population of just 2.6 million and remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, was granted EU candidate status.
Chisinau regularly condemns Russia’s attempts to destabilize the country.
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