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Moldova opposition election candidates: We're being poisoned

2019-02-21 20:33
Two opposition leaders on Thursday accused Moldovan authorities of poisoning them, drawing a rapid denial from the ruling party, just days before a parliamentary election that threatens to tip the east European country back into crisis. Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase, who have joined forces to campaign against the ruling Democratic Party ahead of Sunday's vote and accuse its leadership of rampant corruption, said doctors had discovered heavy metals in their blood. A spokesman for the pro-Western Democratic Party rubbished the allegation and said "strange accusations are heard in the last few days and are becoming more and more fantastic." "Unfortunately, the election campaign in Moldova has sometimes exceeded common sense," said the spokesman, Vitalie Gamurari. The election pits the Democratic Party, which heads the current government and denies corruption allegations, against the Socialists, who favor closer ties to Russia. Nastase and Sandu's ACUM bloc oppose both these main parties and on Thursday also signed a pledge not to enter into a coalition with them in case of a hung parliament. The election threatens to entrench a split in the country between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces at a time when concerns over corruption and democracy have soured its relations with the European Union. Opinion polls suggest no party will win an outright majority, which could set the scene for months of coalition talks or another election.