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Presidential elections held in volatile political climate

November 22, 2009 - ROMANIA

The government fell Oct 13 after losing a vote of no confidence, the first such measure since the end of Communist rule three decades ago. The first task of the winner in the Nov 22 presidential election will be putting together a new government, a tall task because of turmoil over demands for reforms made by the International Monetary Fund. President Traian Basescu has the edge in the polls over the Social Democrats' Mircea Geoana and the National Liberal Party's Crin Antonescu.

The government fell Oct 13 after losing a vote of no confidence, the first such measure since the end of Communist rule 30 years ago. The first task of the winner in the Nov 22 presidential election will be putting together a new government, a tall task because of turmoil over demands for reforms made by the International Monetary Fund. President Traian Basescu has the edge in the polls over the Social Democrats' Mircea Geoana and the National Liberal Party's Crin Antonescu. The efforts to establish a functioning interim government has run into difficulties that threaten the country's ability to win more IMF money. Basescu threatens to dissolve parliament and call a new election within 60 days, which means a 7 Dec election, if the political situations remains volatile. In October parliament voted 254-176 to oust Prime Minister Emil Boc's government, which lost its majority when its coalition allies pulled out earlier this month. The Social Democrats then teamed up with the Liberal opposition to bring down the minority government. Boc's Liberal Democrats and the Social Democrats had ruled in coalition since elections in December. A relatively poor Balkan state of 22 million people, Romania went into an economic downspin in 2008 because its economic policies were not robust enough to counter the impact of the global economic crisis. Other presidential candidates are: Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu; Corneliu Vadim Tudor of the Party of Great Romania; George Becali of the New Generation - Christian Democrat Party; and Kelemen Hunor of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania. Oct/09

Romanian government falls on vote (BBC 13 Oct 2009)

Romania president picks PM, faces stiff opposition (Reuters 15 Oct 2009)

Date written/update: 2009-11-22