Romania Presidential Contenders Neck and Neck before Sunday Vote

World | November 20, 2009, Friday // 19:05|  views

Romania votes for a new President on Sunday, in the hope that the winner will rejuvenate the country's paralysed government. Photo by BGNES

Romanians will go to the polls to elect a new President on Sunday November 22, with a choice of three main contenders, and against a backdrop of prolonged political inaction.

The centrist incumbent, Traian Basescu, currently holds a slim lead (33% support), according to Romanian opinion polls, over his main rival, left-wing Mircea Geona (30%). The third candidate, Crin Antonescu, is trailing well behind, with 18% support.

The polls predict a run-off will be required on December 6, if, as seems likely, no one wins an overall majority on Sunday.

Basescu is campaigning on an austerity ticket, seeking to reduce Romania’s budget deficit significantly in 2010. The country has recently been forced to secure some EUR 20 B in loans from the IMF and the EU.

The government has not agreed its state budget for 2010, partly as a result of the recent collapse of the ruling coalition, and has failed to pay tranches of its international debt on schedule.

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Tags: Romania, Presidential elections, Traian Basescu, Mircea Goana, Crin Antonescu, IMF, EU loans


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