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Romania's constitutional court has confirmed Traian Băsescu's re-election as president, turning down a rival's appeal for the vote to be annulled.

It had ordered 138,000 void ballots to be recounted after Mr Băsescu won by a narrow margin of 70,000 votes. Rival Mircea Geoana of the Social Democratic Party had called for the vote to be annulled, alleging fraud.

His Social Democrat Party said it knew of 13,000 cases of multiple voting, and had received nationwide reports of bribery and vote-rigging.

'The constitutional court confirms that Mr Băsescu is elected as president of Romania, having picked up the largest number of votes cast', said a statement released by the court.

'The court unanimously rejected a request by the Social Democratic Party to cancel the second round of voting held on 6 December'.

Some 10.4mn votes were cast from among 18mn eligible voters in the second round of the presidential election, held on 6 December.

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

The confirmation of Băsescu's election victory means a new prime minister can be appointed and a new government formed; Romania has been run by a caretaker government since October.

15 December 2009

 Last updated: 15/12/2009 12:53:00

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