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Romania Re-elects President Basescu

  • Stefan Bos

Central Election Bureau says President Traian Basescu received just over 50 percent of the vote and ex-Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana was less than one percent behind in the poll

Romanian President Traian Basescu has won the country's presidential runoff election, but the rival Social Democrat party is contesting the results.

Romania's Central Election Bureau on Monday said the incumbent received 50.3 percent of the vote and ex-Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana got 49.7 percent. The officials said they had counted 99.95 percent of the votes, leaving too few votes left for Mr. Geoana to overcome Mr. Basescu.

Mr. Geoana's Social Democrat party said the vote was fraudulent because of large numbers of annulled votes.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe gave the second round of voting in Romania an overall positive assessment. But the election monitoring group said Romania needs to address renewed allegations of irregularities.

Three separate exit polls in Romania showed Mr. Geoana leading by two percentage points Sunday, but both sides claimed victory. Mr. Basescu narrowly won the first round on November 22. Neither candidate won a majority, forcing Sunday's runoff.

Both candidates promised to lift Romania out of its political and economic troubles, and to eradicate corruption.

The country's problems are delaying a $30 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Romania has been mired in a political crisis since October, when parliament dismissed Prime Minister Emil Boc's coalition government.

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