Moldovans are voting in runoffs for local elections which are seen as a test whether the former Soviet republic will move closer to the European Union or seek ties with Russia.

Under scrutiny is who wins the post of mayor in the capital, where pro-European Dorin Chirtoaca, mayor since 2007, faces pro-Russian challenger Zinaida Greceanai, a former prime minister of the Communist Party.

Runoffs are being held Sunday in 458 towns in this country of 4 million.

Negotiations for a new government will begin after the results of the elections. Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman was appointed interim prime minister this week after her predecessor resigned amid a probe into his high school diploma.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Early results are expected late Sunday.