Moldova holds referendum on electing president

September 6, 2010 00:00

CHISINAU, Moldova — Moldovans went to the polls Sunday to decide whether to elect the country's president by popular vote.

Turnout for the poll was 29.7 percent, short of the one-third of the 2.66 million voters needed to make it valid, but votes were still to be counted from 75 polling stations abroad in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Russia, the Central Electoral Committee said.

Final results are expected Monday. There was confusion with turnout figures and Moldovan election officials earlier gave a higher figure for turnout before revising it without explanation. The country was using a new electronic voting system for the first time.

If the referendum is not valid, Parliament will be dissolved. There are 600,000 Moldovans working abroad, many in Italy, Greece and Russia.

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