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Country Risk

Moldova’s parliamentary vote outcome indicates likelihood of a minority government or a new election

27 February 2019
Citizens vote at a polling station in Bardar village, on 24 February 2019, as Moldovans are called to the polls to elect new parliament members. Source: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images #1127067908

On 24 February 2019, Moldova held a parliamentary election to select its 101 MPs, which produced a hung parliament.

Turnout was registered at 49.22%, versus 55.85% in the previous election in November 2014. The election was held using a parallel voting system that was introduced in 2017, with 50 MPs elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency, and the other 51 elected in single-member constituencies. In the proportional representation vote, the pro-Russian opposition Socialist party (Partidul Socialiştilor din Republica Moldova, PSRM) of President Igor Dodon received 31.2% of the vote, pro-EU and anti-corruption opposition ACUM bloc received 26.8%, the incumbent and nominally pro-Western Democratic party (Partidul Democrat din Moldova, PDM) received 23.6%, and the Sor party, led by businessman Ilan Sor received 8.3%. The other 11 parties failed to reach the 5% threshold. With those MPs elected in individual constituencies, the PSRM won a total of 34 seats, the ACUM bloc 27, the PDM 30, Sor party seven, and independents won three seats (see chart) in the 101-strong parliament.

The election has produced a highly fragmented parliament with no party having a simple majority. This will complicate government formation, as forecast. Although the pro-Russian PSRM has the highest number of MPs in the new parliament, it is unlikely to be able to form an administration on its own as both the pro-EU ACUM bloc and the previously ruling nominally pro-Western PDM party would oppose such a move. PSRM's inability to form a government by itself makes any policy overhaul and reorientation towards Russia, and away from the EU, unlikely.

ACUM, which campaigned on the platform for closer links to the EU and against the alleged corruption in the previous PDM-led government, is unlikely to join coalitions with either PSRM or PDM. Before the election, all ACUM candidates signed a collective agreement to avoid entering into any coalition proposed by these two parties.

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