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     Romanian presidential election contested  <<back  next>>

Romania's opposition Social Democrat Party (PSD) has formally contested the result of Sunday's presidential vote at the Constitutional Court. The party's presidential candidate, Mircea Geoana, has called for new polls, saying President Traian Băsescu's victory was rigged. Mr Băsescu won the election by less than 1%.

The Constitutional Court's nine magistrates are expected to rule on the appeal by 11 December 2009.

After a bitter contest, exit polls had predicted a victory for Mr Geoana; but election officials said on Monday that centre-right President Băsescu had won 50.3% of votes against Mr Geoana's 49.7%.

Romania has been run by a caretaker government since October. No new prime minister can be appointed or new government formed until the president is appointed.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has delayed the payment of part of a bail-out loan because of the current lack of effective government in Romania.

President Băsescu won Sunday's election by a margin of only 78,000 votes out of more than 10.4mn cast. Mr Geoana's party said it knew of 13,000 cases of multiple voting, and had received nationwide reports of of bribery and vote-rigging. A senior official from his party said there was evidence of electoral fraud in all 41 counties.

The court could either reject the complaint, allow a re-run in certain areas, or fulfil the demand of the PSD and call for a repeat of the whole election.

Election observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said voting in the second round on 6 December had generally met commitments made, but urged authorities to investigate reports of irregularities.

9 December 2009

 Last updated: 15/12/2009 12:49:00

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