The second round of local elections in Moldova on June 17 confirmed a drift away from the Communist Party. After run-offs in 474 of the 898 mayoral elections, a total of 328 Communists will serve as mayor, down from the 368 elected in 2003. The largest opposition party, the Our Moldova Alliance won a total of 155 mandates which leaves it short of the 191 mayoral seats it won in 2003.
The move toward smaller parties was apparent in the single most important individual battle, in Chisinau, where Dorin Chirtoaca, a 28-year-old human-rights activist and member of the Liberal Party, raised his first-round share of the vote from 24.3 percent to over 61 percent. His Communist rival, Veaceslav Iordan, finished with 38.8 percent, just 11 percentage points more than he garnered in the first round. The Communist Party has failed to win in Chisinau in seven local elections since 1991. Simultaneously held elections reduced the number of Communists in Chisinau's 51-seat City Council from 25 to 16. The turnout in Chisinau was 35 percent, roughly the same as the 37 percent achieved in the first round.