Maia Sandu is a Moldovan politician and the elected president of Moldova (will take office on December 23, 2020).
Sandu was born on May 24, 1972 in the Moldovan village of Risipeni.
She studied management at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova and international relations at the Academy of Public Administration in Chisinau.
She graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In 2005-2006 she worked at the Ministry of Economy of Moldova as Director of the General Directorate of Macroeconomic Policies and Development Programs.
In 2007 she served as a Programme Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova.
From late 2007 to 2009 she worked as a consultant for reforms of the central public administration of Moldova.
From 2010 to 2012 she worked as an advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington.
From 2012 to 2015 she was Minister of Education of Moldova. During her tenure she promoted a number of educational reforms.
In July 2015, Sandu was considered for the post of Prime Minister, but later the Liberal Democratic Party nominated Valery Streltsov for the post of Prime Minister.
In December 2015, Sandu created the platform "In Step with Maia Sandu," which became the basis of the political force "Action and Solidarity Party.
The 2016 presidential election
In 2016, Sandu made it to the second round of the presidential election with 38.71% of the vote. Her opponent was the pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon, who was supported by 47.98% of voters.
In the second round, Sandu received the support of 47.89% of voters and lost the election to Dodon, who obtained 52.11% of the votes.
Parliamentary elections and election as prime minister
In the 2019 parliamentary elections, Sandu's party was part of a bloc that won 26 of the 101 seats in the Moldovan parliament.
As a result of the election, Sandu was appointed prime minister of Moldova. This decision was initially overturned by the country's Constitutional Court, but the court itself subsequently overturned the previously promulgated decision.
In November 2019, the Moldovan Parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Sandu's government and sent him to resign.
Presidential Election 2020
In 2020, Sandu again ran for president of the country. Already in the first round, Sandu received the best result among all candidates for the position, receiving the support of 36.16% of voters. Dodon came second with less than 33%.
In the second round of the election, Sandu won a landslide victory with almost 58% of the vote, 15 percentage points ahead of Dodon. Thus, Sandu became the first woman president of Moldova.
Sandu and Ukraine
Sandu first arrived in Ukraine in July 2019, when she was prime minister. The media noticed that she began her speech in the Ukrainian capital at a meeting with the president in Ukrainian.
In her first speech as president-elect , Sandu also recalled Ukraine, stressing the importance of partnership.
Read also what else Sandu said about Ukraine.