Europe

Pro-Russia politician in clear win in Moldova, results show

  • Socialist Party presidential candidate Igor Dodon gestures during a press briefing in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dodon, the pro-Moscow candidate for president, has over 50 percent of the vote in Moldova's election Sunday and said he was headed to victory, with just under 98 percent of the vote counted.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Socialist Party presidential candidate Igor Dodon gestures during a press briefing in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dodon, the pro-Moscow candidate for president, has over 50 percent of the vote in Moldova's election Sunday and said he was headed to victory, with just under 98 percent of the vote counted.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Socialist Party presidential candidate Igor Dodon leaves after a press briefing in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dodon, the pro-Moscow candidate for president, has 54.53 percent of the vote in Moldova's election Sunday and said he was headed to victory, with just under 98 percent of the vote counted. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Socialist Party presidential candidate Igor Dodon leaves after a press briefing in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dodon, the pro-Moscow candidate for president, has 54.53 percent of the vote in Moldova's election Sunday and said he was headed to victory, with just under 98 percent of the vote counted. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-European presidential candidate Maia Sandu speaks to the media after voting ended in the presidential elections, in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Moldovans voted in a presidential election in which the favorite, Socialist Igor Dodon, has promised to restore ties with Russia that cooled after the former Soviet republic signed a trade deal with the European Union. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

    Pro-European presidential candidate Maia Sandu speaks to the media after voting ended in the presidential elections, in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Moldovans voted in a presidential election in which the favorite, Socialist Igor Dodon, has promised to restore ties with Russia that cooled after the former Soviet republic signed a trade deal with the European Union. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)  (The Associated Press)

Near final results show a clear victory for a pro-Russian politician in a presidential race that many Moldovans hope will rekindle ties with Moscow.

With 99.9 percent of the votes counted early Monday, Igor Dodon won 52.3 percent of the vote, while Maia Sandu who ran on an anti-corruption ticket, had 47.7 percent.

Moldovans celebrated his victory with fireworks early Monday in the semi-autonomous Gagauzia region, where many ethnic Russians live.

Dodon promised he would be a president to all Moldovans. He tapped into popular anger over the approximately $1 billion that went missing from Moldovan banks before the 2014 parliamentary elections.

He wants to restore ties with Russia, which placed a trade embargo on Moldovan wine and fruit after it signed an association agreement with the European Union.