Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris Men's Fall/Winter 2015, freedom of speech triumphs

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2015: Businesses 'cautiously optimistic' in Japan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Twitter storm as IMF boss Christine Lagarde hails Saudi King Abdullah as 'strong advocate of women'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR CONGO: Senate amends controversial constitutional law

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Pope Family Planning: Heated Debate over Pontiff's 'Rabbit' Comments (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Saudi King Abdullah Dies: Succession, Stability and Youth in Question (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France tackles terror

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric: 'France is on a better track'

Read more

DEBATE

Davos debate: Can big business agree on climate deal? (part 2)

Read more

Europe

Presidential poll key to tackling political, economic crises

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-22

Romanians vote Sunday in a tight presidential contest amid hopes that the election will break a political impasse that has hampered the country’s access to foreign aid. Polls put incumbent Traian Basescu (photo) and his left-wing rival neck-and-neck.

 
AFP - Romanians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president for a five-year term, amid a serious recession and an ongoing political crisis prompted by the fall of the government in mid-October.
  
The polls were due to open at 7:00 am (0500 GMT) until 9:00 pm.
  
Twelve candidates, all men, are running in this first presidential election since Romania entered the European Union in 2007.
  
But Sunday's vote was likely to lead to a run-off election on December 6 with the incumbent centre-right president, Traian Basescu, and his Social Democrat rival Mircea Geoana neck-in-neck in opinion polls.
  
Each expected to win between 30 and 32 percent of votes in the first round, both were clear front-runners ahead of the Liberal Crin Antonescu, opinion polls showed ahead of the election.
  
Basescu, a former sea captain, has pointed to his achievements as president, including the country's entry into the EU, his condemnation of the Communist-era regime and progress in the fight against corruption, even though Romania remains near the bottom of the latest corruption index published by Transparency International.
  
He has also pushed for further state-level reforms and called for a referendum, also to be held on Sunday, to reduce the number of deputies in parliament to 300, from a current 471.
  
Meanwhile, Geoana, a career diplomat and president of the Social Democrats who likes to compare himself to former British premier Tony Blair or ex-US president Bill Clinton, has proposed a "vigorous" anti-crisis plan that includes building family housing and larger credit opportunities for companies.
  
Analysts however have said this will be difficult, if not impossible, to finance while the public deficit is due to reach 7.3 percent of gross domestic product and the economy is to shrink by 8.0 percent in 2009.
  
Over 18 million people out of the population of 21.5 million are eligible to vote.
  
But with many Romanians claiming disillusionment with their politicians, 20 years after the fall of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, participation was expected to be under 50 percent.
  

Date created : 2009-11-22

  • ROMANIA

    Voters seek way out of crisis in tight presidential poll

    Read more

COMMENT(S)