Unable to vote, hundreds of Moldovans remained at closed polling stations in Moscow, shouting, “Let us vote!” Officials, citing a shortage of ballot papers midway into the vote, stated that no more ballot papers would be issued, and the vote would not be extended.

Parliamentary election voting was cut short in the Russian capital after ballot papers ran out, according to election commission chairman Anatoly Patrashku.

Ballot papers ran out during the opening hours of polling at the Moldovan consulate building in Moscow.

“It has been decided that the work of the polling stations will not be extended since all of the 3,000 ballot papers have been used, said Patrashku.

Across Russia, the Moldovan government opened only five polling stations for the Sunday vote, despite the number of 700,000-one million Moldovans who reside in Russia. These stations were located within Moscow, Ramenskoye (Moscow region), Novosibirsk, St Petersberg and Sochi.

According to Moldovan election regulations, each polling station cannot have more than 3,000 ballot papers.

By James Haleavy