According to data of Central Election Commission Moldova for 7:00pm on November 19, only 107,000 people or 17% of total voters attended the referendum for resignation of the Chisinau mayor.
It was the first referendum for resignation of city mayor in independent Moldova. The voters were required to answer just one question: whether they support resignation of Dorin Chirtoacă. The mayor’s duties were suspended in late May, after he faced corruption charges.
The referendum cannot be recognized unless at least one-third of total voters in Chisinau or about 210,000 participate in the vote. To achieve Dorin Chirtoacă’s resignation, more than 163,570 people were to vote “for” his resignation.
“Polling stations are closing at 9:00pm and turnout is not high. Mostly elderly people participate in the voting. The youth seems indifferent,” says Nicolae Babuc, chairperson of the Chisinau election commission.
More than 900 local and international observers following the voting believe that the initiative of the governmental opposition requesting mayor’s resignation is due to fail.
The referendum was initiated by the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova and supported by President Igor Dodon, who urged citizens to express their civic stance. “I am sure that most of Chisinau citizens are dissatisfied with the situation in the city and the activity of the mayor. Therefore, we need to consolidate and vote, and then, in a few months, elect a new mayor – a leftist, rightist, uninonist (supporters for unification with Romania) or a statist, everyone is free to choose on his own. We must put an end to this,” Dodon said.
Right-wing parties have boycotted the voting. Unionists are calling their supporters to picket the office of the Party of Socialists.
Earlier, UNIREA-ODIP public association chairperson Vlad Bilețchi urged citizens to boycott the referendum. He said the supporters of unification with Romania will be demanding the president to return the money he spent on the campaign for Chisinau mayor’s resignation to the state budget.