BREAKING NEWS

Veteran rebel region leader defies Moscow in poll

TIRASPOL, Moldova - The veteran leader of Moldova's breakaway Transdniestria region appeared well in front after a Sunday election in which he ran for a fifth term against the wishes of his former patron Russia.
But Igor Smirnov, a 70-year-old Russian who has ruled the territory of half-a-million people for 20 years, seemed likely to fall short of the 50 per cent required to avoid a second round of voting, an exit poll showed.The poll, by the Vektor agency, gave Smirnov 47.38 percent of the vote, while Moscow-backed parliamentary speaker Anatoly Kaminsky was in third place with 22.6 percent, surprising many analysts who believed his endorsement by the Kremlin made him the strongest challenger.
Instead, Yevgeny Shevchuk, a former parliamentary speaker who was mooted as a possible successor to Smirnov a year ago but whose star seemed to have faded, was in second place on 23.2 percent, the exit poll showed.
Preliminary results were expected on Monday at 0800 gmt.
Subscribe for our daily newsletter
Subscribe for our daily newsletter

By subscribing I accept the terms of use

Read all Tweets >