Klaus Iohannis Wins Romania Presidential Vote

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | November 17, 2014, Monday // 07:46
Bulgaria: Klaus Iohannis Wins Romania Presidential Vote Presidential candidate Klaus Iohannis salutes the crowds, in central Bucharest Romania, 16 November 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Sibiu mayor Klaus Iohannis is to be the new President of Romania after Sunday's run-off, according to partial official results.

Exit polls had suggested Iohannis, an ethnic German, and Prime Minister Victor Ponta were running neck and neck.

Ponta has conceded defeat, according to Agerpres agency.

Right-leaning Iohannis has garnered about 55.79 percent, Romanian election announced after an unusual delay.

A surprising turnout has been registered, with 62 percent of the eligible voters having gone to the polls. This is about ten percent more than activity in the first round.

Many surveys conducted prior to the election had predicted Ponta's victory, and the Prime Minister did get most of the vote in the first round, with 40 percent compared to 30 for Iohannis.

However, experts suggested before the run-off those who had voted for the other candidates (neither of which received more than six percent on November 2) would decide the results of the next round.

Incumbent Traian Basescu is now set to leave office as he held two consecutive terms and could not run for a third one.

Social Democrat Ponta had vowed to tackle Romania's budget deficit and increase pensions and minimum wage, while Iohannis is determined to help in the fight against corruption and enhance the independence of the judiciary.

Iohannis, whose candidacy was raised by the Christian Liberal Alliance, called on Ponta to step down as PM after the vote, but the latter refused to do so.

The election winner reiterated that Ponta is the main culprit for the situation with the expat vote.

Voting in the second round was marked by a scandal involving polling stations abroad, where organization was described as poor.

Long queues had formed in front of many stations in the first round and some election points had ended the voting day while many people were still waiting to cast a ballot.

The affair resulted in the dismissal of Titus Corlatean as Foreign Minister.

On Sunday people were also lining up to vote at some Romanian embassies and consulates across Europe, with French police using teargas to disperse a crowd protesting at the flawed election process abroad.

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Tags: Klaus Iohannis, Victor Ponta, Romania, Titus Corlatean, run-off, presidential election

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