Ex-Soviet Moldova votes on Sunday as polls show the outcome might slow, though not halt, its moves to shift towards the European Union and away from Russia. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Moldovans head to the polls, in a vote that could slow -- not halt -- its shift towards the European Union and a move further away from Russia. Surveys show the former-Soviet bloc nation is divided over the pro-Europe path pursued by the ruling centre-right coalition, or reversing course and joining a Russian-led economic bloc instead. For five years, the ruling coalition has had a poor record of infighting and battling corruption. Casting his vote -- Communist opposition leader Vladimir Voronin. He supports integration with Europe, but wants revisions to existing trade agreements. (SOUNDBITE) (Moldovan) MOLDOVA'S COMMUNIST PARTY LEADER, VLADIMIR VORONIN, SAYING: "I voted for Moldova to once and forever get rid of these troubles which have been continuing for the past five years, from this corruption and from this mafia which has encircled the whole of Moldova and all its citizens and we cannot develop because of it." A large police presence helped control thousands of Moldovans gathered outside their embassy in Moscow, waiting to vote. The gathering quickly became a pro-Russian demonstration: (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOLDOVA CITIZEN, SOFIA, SAYING: "No one is against the European Union, but I think that EU won't do us any good, simply a war will begin like in Ukraine. People will be killing each other, destroying each other. But we don't need this war." 7092 The parties need to gain at least 6 percent of the vote to win seats in the 101-seat parliament. A simple majority is required to form a government.