Newsletter Issue 61 | September – October 2020

Moldova’s presidential elections – this one could matter 

Presidential elections in Moldova are planned for November 1st, 2020. Despite the high number of daily new COVID-19 cases, elections are happening as scheduled and are almost certain to continue in a second round on November 15th. As Moldova is a parliamentary republic, formally the president’s powers are symbolic and easily bypassed. But, as the incumbent Igor Dodon has proved, the president can be an influential figure. Therefore, these elections are important for both Mr. Dodon from the Socialists Party and Ms. Sandu, his main contender, from the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS). As is customary in Moldovan elections, the presidential vote of 2020 will portray the geopolitical divide between the voters of the main contenders: the pro-EU centre-right and the pro-Russian “left”, despite the main candidates’ attempt to tune down the geopolitical rhetoric in favour of reform agendas. Also, the pandemic and its economic impact may mean that voters care less about geopolitical arguments. With early parliamentary elections looming in 2021, the stakes are high for this presidential election.

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