Romanians Choose New President in a Tight Race

Published November 24th, 2019 - 11:56 GMT
A woman leaves a voting booth on the second round of presidential elections at a poll station in Bucharest November 24, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)
A woman leaves a voting booth on the second round of presidential elections at a poll station in Bucharest November 24, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)

People in Romania are taking to the polls to cast their ballots in the second round of the presidential election.

Polling stations opened across the southeastern European country at 07:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Sunday, with more than 18 million people — a record 650,000 of them abroad — being eligible to choose between incumbent President Klaus Iohannis and former prime minister Viorica Dancila.

Iohannis, a center-right former physics professor, is vying for presidency with Dancila, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), whose government fell last month with a no-confidence vote.

Neither of the two candidates received more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round on November 10, as Iohannis garnered 38 percent and Dancila came second with 22 percent.

 

"I voted for a Romania that is modern, European and normal," Iohannis told reporters after casting his ballot on Sunday.

The election comes amid deep resentment toward controversial judicial reforms proposed by the PSD, which is seen as giving politicians a way to avoid corruption sentences.

Iohannis, who made rule of law a central plank of his campaign, has warned that a victory for Dancila would pose a threat to democracy.

Under the constitution, Romania’s president is responsible for foreign affairs as well as approving the appointment of judges and top prosecutors.

Polls in Romania will close at 21:00 local time and initial results will be released shortly afterwards.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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