Elections in Moldovan capital failed for fourth time

Elections for the mayor of the Moldovan capital have been declared invalid for a fourth time due to low turnout, authorities said Monday.

Elections were held Sunday, but just 22.6 percent of the voters turned out, the municipal electoral committee said. To be considered valid, one-third of eligible voters need to cast their ballots.

Eight candidates were running. Interim Mayor Vasile Ursu, an independent backed by the ruling Communists' Party and the Popular Christian Democratic Party, won 53 percent of Sunday's vote, while opposition Liberal Dorin Chirtoaca won 35 percent.

Chisinau held elections on July 10 and 24, and again on Nov. 27, but all polls were declared invalid due to low voter turnout.

Chisinau, a city of 750,000, called its mayoral election after former Mayor Serafim Urechean left the position in April to become a legislator in the Moldovan Parliament.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors elections on the continent, urged Moldovan authorities to scrap the two-thirds turnout requirement.

On Monday, parliament Speaker Marian Lupu said lawmakers were considering the suggestion, the AP reports.


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