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Pro-Western Candidate Wins Moldovan Presidential Election

CHISINAU, Moldova—Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favors closer ties with the European Union, has won Moldova’s presidential runoff vote, decisively defeating the staunchly pro-Russian incumbent, according to preliminary results released Monday. Sandu captured over 57 percent of the vote, leaving the incumbent, Igor Dodon, behind by over 15 points, according to preliminary data from the Central Election Commission, CEC, that said nearly 100 percent of the vote has been counted. Sunday’s election was seen as a referendum on two divergent visions for the future of the small Eastern European nation sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania. Sandu and Dodon, who Russian President Vladimir Putin identified as his preferred candidate, have been rivals since he narrowly defeated her in the 2016 presidential race. “People voted in very large numbers … they voted because they care, because they want their voices to be heard,” Sandu, who promised during the campaign …