Romania’s Presidential Candidates Tied in Run-off Vote – Exit Polls

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | November 16, 2014, Sunday // 21:56
Bulgaria: Romania’s Presidential Candidates Tied in Run-off Vote – Exit Polls

Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis were tied in a neck-to-neck race in Romania’s run-off vote on Sunday, four separate exit polls showed.

Based on information as of 19 EET (17 UTC) when voting in Romania ended, an exit poll conducted by Romanian polling agency Sociopol showed Social Democrat Prime Minister Victor Ponta leading with 50.9% of the vote and his centre-right opponent Klaus Iohannis coming a close second with 49.1%.

According to another polling agency, IRES, the popular mayor of Sibiu city Iohannes was frontrunner with 50.9% as of 19 EET, compared with 49.1% for Ponta.

Polling agency CURS issued similar results from its exit poll – 51.5% for Iohannis versus 48.50% for Ponta, while another one showed the two contenders tied at 50%.

The results of the exit polls, all of which come within the margin of error, are much tighter than those in the first round two weeks ago,  in which Ponta, who had promised stability, garnered the support of 40% of voters versus 30% for Iohannis, who had pledged to fight corruption. Ponta also led in opinion polls ahead of this Sunday’s run-off vote.

With the outcome of the election too close to call, the votes of Romanians living abroad, who are widely perceived as anti-Ponta, could tip the scales in the final count. 

Poor organization of voting in polling stations abroad in the first round sparked protests in Bucharest and other major Romanian cities as well as capitals across the EU and some other countries. An estimated four million Romanians live abroad, most of them in Europe.

The protest rallies forced Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean to resign on November 10. The government has added voting booths and staff at polling stations abroad in response to protests but it has not increased the number of polling stations, as expat groups had demanded.

Romania’s Electoral Bureau will release the first partial results of the vote at 2 EET on Monday. According to Electoral Bureau data, voter turnout was about 59% at 19 EET (17 UTC).

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Tags: run-off vote, presidential election, Romania, Ponta, Iohannis, polling stations abroad
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