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Opposition Candidate Ahead in Romanian Presidential Runoff

The opposition candidate in Romania's run-off presidential election appears headed for victory.

Romania's election commission says Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu was named on almost 52 percent of the ballots, with 92 percent of all votes counted from Sunday's election. That leaves outgoing Prime Minister Adrian Nastase with just over 48 percent of the vote.

Exit polls had placed the two candidates practically neck and neck.

Prime Minister Nastase of the ruling Social Democrats is credited with qualifying Romania for European Union membership. But many political observers say Mr. Basescu would more likely be successful in pushing through reforms required to join the bloc.

The winner will succeed President Ion Iliescu.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.