A large portion of present day Moldovan territory became a province of the Russian Empire in 1812 and then unified with Romania in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. This territory was then incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although Moldova has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River in the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose population is roughly equally composed of ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, and Moldovans. Years of Communist Party rule in Moldova from 2001-2009 ultimately ended with election-related violent protests and a rerun of parliamentary elections in 2009. Since then, a series of pro-European ruling coalitions have governed Moldova. As a result of the country's most recent legislative election in February 2019, parliamentary seats are split among the left-leaning Socialist Party (35 seats), the former ruling Democratic Party (30 seats), and the center-right ACUM bloc (26 seats). Parliament voted in Prime Minister Ion CHICU and his cabinet on 14 November 2019, two days after voting to remove his predecessor, ACUM co-leader Maia SANDU, who had been in office since June 2019.