Moldovans are casting ballots for parliament Sunday, in a vote expected to push the former Soviet republic closer to Europe.

The Communist party is expected to retain a majority in the 101-seat body and re-elect President Vladimir Voronin.

Mr. Voronin cast his ballot in the capital Chinisau, saying he voted for the Moldovan people.

During his four years in office, the president has worked to boost ties with the European Union, amid rising tension with former ally, Russia.

A key dispute is over the Russian-speaking region of Transdniester, where Moldovan officials accuse Russia of backing separatist forces.

And Saturday, Russia says 100 of its election monitors were refused entry to Moldova. Moldovan officials alleged some were actually spies.

Nearly 800 foreign observers are in Moldova for the election, including 150 from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.