World

Moldovans vote in runoffs, seen as a test whether country will move closer to Europe or Russia

  • A woman casts her ballot in runoff local elections in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)

    A woman casts her ballot in runoff local elections in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man crosses the street backdropped by posters of Zinaida Greceanai, the pro-Russian candidate for mayor of the Moldovan capital in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)

    A man crosses the street backdropped by posters of Zinaida Greceanai, the pro-Russian candidate for mayor of the Moldovan capital in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zinaida Greceanai, the pro-Russian candidate for mayor of the Moldovan capital casts her ballot in a runoff for local elections in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)

    Zinaida Greceanai, the pro-Russian candidate for mayor of the Moldovan capital casts her ballot in a runoff for local elections in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Moldovans were voting Sunday in local election runoffs that are being seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the European Union or Russia. (AP Photo/Dan Morar)  (The Associated Press)

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.