Socialist Ion Ceban elected mayor of Moldovan capital

Ion Ceban, the candidate of the Moldovan Socialist party (PSRM), has narrowly defeated Andrei Nastase of the pro-European ACUM bloc to become the new mayor of the Moldovan capital Chișinău.

Mr Ceban won just over 52 per cent of the vote. Turnout was low, at around 37 per cent.

It is the first time since Moldova declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 that a socialist has been elected mayor of the city.

“I will be the mayor of all Chișinău’s citizens, regardless of their political affiliation,” said Mr Ceban at a victory rally.

The PSRM is also the largest party on Chișinău’s city council.

Both the PSRM and ACUM are part of Moldova’s ruling coalition, which took office in June. The Chișinău election campaign was marred by a number of personal attacks made by both candidates, which led the country’s socialist president Igor Dodon to warn that the government coalition deal could collapse if they continued.