23/11/2009 - Results - 1st round
Outgoing President of the Republic Traian Basescu (Democratic Liberal Party, PD-L) and Social Democratic Party leader (PSD) Mircea Geoana emerged ahead in the 1st round of the presidential election on 22nd November. They will face each other in the 2nd round that will take place on 6th December. The outgoing head of State has won 32.42% of the vote ahead of Mircea Geoana (31.17%). Both men are followed by Crin Antonescu (National Liberal Party PNL) who won 20.02%.
The Grand Romania Party candidate (PRM) Corneliu Vadim Tudor has won 5.55% of the vote. He is followed by Kelemen Hunor (Democratic Union of Magyars of Romania UDMR) 3.83%, Sorin Oprescu, Mayor of Bucharest 3.18% and George Becali, owner of the football club Steaua Bucharest (New Generation Party, PNG) 1.91%. The other five candidates won less than 1% of the vote.
Turn out rose to 54.32%. The rural part of the country showed a greater turn out (56.3%) than the towns (51.5%), even though the difference decreased this year between the two electorates in comparison with 2004 when it totalled nearly 10 points.
"Today I won the first round," declared Traian Basescu on the announcement of the first results. "I have worked a great deal to achieve this but I shall work even more to win on 6th December. That is when the hardest work will start: the country will have to pull together after five years of scandal and disunity," stressed Mircea Geoana who is calling for Romanian unity in view of the second round.
"It is a question of where the liberal vote will go," stresses political analyst Emil Hurezeanu. Crin Antonescu's electorate is due to be greatly in demand.
On the announcement of the results Traian Basescu said that the Romanians had "resolutely voted on the right" and that politicians had to "take the electorate's opinion into account when the next government was formed." The outgoing Head of State repeated that he supported a rightwing government, the only one to bring the country out of the crisis in his opinion.
Mircea Geoana recalled his recent alliance with the liberals with regard to the choice of the next Prime Minister (the Social Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party united to request along with others, the appointment of the Mayor of Sibiu (Transylvania), Klaus Johannis (Democratic Forum of Germans of Sibiu, DFDH), as head of government) and called on Crin Antonescu's supporters to back him in the second round.
The Interior Minister recorded over 1,050 "electoral incidents" and 72 infringements, 25 of which involved "multiple voting" in the first round. According to the Romanian Electoral Commission some, 305,000 people, an abnormally high figure, voted in polling stations that had been especially set up for voters who were travelling or were not at home. Without referring directly to infringements, Economy Minister Adriean Videan, asked for this kind of "electoral tourism" to end.
Turnout of 50.91% in the referendum on the reform of parliament, 'a victory' in the opinion of outgoing President Traian Basescu who initiated this vote – which was organised on the same day as the first round of the presidential election - made it possible to validate the popular consultation. Over ¾ of the voters (77.78%) said "yes" to a unicameral Parliament and 88.84% to the reduction in the number of MPs from 471 to 300. However this referendum was only consultative, a revision of the Constitution is necessary for the measures to enter into force.
After this close first round, it is hard to say whether the outgoing Head of State or Mircea Geoana will be the next President of the Republic of Romania. "On 6th December the vote will be for or against Traian Basescu" indicated political analyst Stelian Tanase.