BUCHAREST, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Central Election Commission in Moldova declared the presidential elections valid late afternoon on Sunday, after the
voter turnout exceeded one-third of the total electorate.
Over 1.1 million people, or more than 39 percent of the voters, cast their ballots by 16:00 on Sunday, announced the Central Election Commission.
Moldova holds direct presidential elections on Sunday, a change from the past 16 years during which the head of state was indirectly elected by parliament.
Some three million citizens are expected at the 2,082 polling stations in the country as well as 100 abroad, mostly in Italy, Romania and Russia.
Leader of the Socialist Party Igor Dodon said after voting that "I have voted today against those who have been in power over the last seven years. I have
voted against oligarchy, against the destroyers of the banking system and the
country ... I have voted for a prosperous Moldova."
The Socialist leader stressed that he is convinced he will win the election right away and so there will be no second round.
Dodon was leading by double digits in most polls ahead of the voting. A poll conducted before the elections by a well-known independent agency showed him
with 40.5 percent support, while his rival, former education minister Maia
Sandu, head of the Action and Solidarity Party, had 13 percent.
"I have voted for a fair and honest president who will represent us and promote the interests of hard-working people ... a president who unites us all
instead of keeping us apart," said Sandu, who supports deeper cooperation with
the European Union (EU).
The only solution for Moldova is its development toward the EU, and Sunday's presidential election decides whether or not Moldova becomes a European state,
stressed presidential candidate of Moldova's European People's Party Iurie
Leanca, a former prime minister and foreign minister of Moldova.
The presidential race in Moldova is contested by nine candidates, including three independent ones.
Moldova, a former Soviet republic landlocked between Romania and Ukraine, is still shrouded in the shadow of a corruption scandal in which a total of 1
billion U.S. dollars, or around 10 percent of the country's gross domestic
product, disappeared from its banking system.
The scandal sparked large-scale protests last year, eroded the confidence in pro-European politicians and has partially contributed to the Socialists' gain
CAPE TOWN, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) on Saturday condemned the unwarranted speculation by the international
media on the sexual orientation of a South African gold medallist runner, Caster
"As the ANCWL we view the debate on Castor's gender as an attack to humiliate and demoralise her since she is expected to win a gold medal in the 2016 Olympic
games," ANCWL Secretary General Meokgo Matuba said in a statement.
The ANCWL condemns the motives of those who continually perpetrate a view that an African woman has no capacity to excel in sports, Matuba said.
Caster Semenya's eligibility to compete against other female athletes is not a debatable matter as she was born a girl and no amount of public humiliation
can change her gender, said Matuba.
She said the ANCWL respects and accepts the decision of the Court of Arbitration (CAS) on ruling out the enforcement on testosterone limits on
runners as Semenya.
The courts have proven that there was insufficient evidence to prove that women athletes with higher testosterone levels had an edge over other women
"This kind of scrutiny is inhumane and is a violation on Semenya's human rights," Matuba said.
"As the ANCWL we are fully behind Castor Semenya," Matuba said, adding that Semenya will rise above the speculations and bring a gold medal back onto South
The ANCWL calls on all South Africans to rally behind Semenya and condemn all speculations on her gender, Matuba said.
Semenya, 25, is a controversial figure in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She is widely expected to win a gold medal in the 800 meters, a race in which her times
have been approaching a decades-old world record thought by many in the sport to
be unapproachable -- five minutes 10 seconds.
But because of higher testosterone in her body, there has been speculation by the international media on her sexual orientation.
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