After the unprecedented mobilization in the first round of November 1 elections, Moldovan citizens living abroad gathered en masse today, in the second round. They travel thousands of miles to express their right to vote. In several diaspora groups on Facebook, Moldovans announced that they woke up early in the morning to go to the polls. Some people will drive even 3,000 km with personal means or by plane to exercise their right to vote.
For Moldovans settled abroad, the Central Electoral Commission has opened 139 voting sections.
In the presidential elections on November 1, the diaspora mobilized massively- 149,840 voters went to the polling stations, and not all of them had the chance to vote due to long queues.
After Moldovans’ massive mobilization from the diaspora, in the first round of the presidential elections, the independent candidate Igor Dodon, who came in second place in the race, mentioned that “the diaspora is a parallel electorate to those voting in Moldova, with its vision and political inclination. For the most part, the diaspora’s preferences are at odds with the choices of the majority population living and working in Moldova.”
On November 13, 2020, the Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) notified the Central Electoral Commission about the mobilization of the Moldovan diaspora. On several Facebook groups, citizens living abroad offered free rides and transportation for co-nationals who want to exercise their right to vote in the second round but do not have any means of transportation.
However, the Security Service announced that the transport offers do not have connections with voting for a specific candidate and it is rather organized due to lack of polling stations.
Today, November 15, 2020, the second round of presidential elections takes place in Moldova. The Moldovan citizens will choose their president from two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round: Maia Sandu, the candidate of the Action and Solidarity Party, and Igor Dodon, an independent candidate, supported by the Party of Socialists of Moldova. Unlike the first round, when the presence of at least a third of the voters registered in the electoral lists was required, the elections will be declared valid in the second round of voting, regardless of the number of voters who participated in the polls.