Anti-austerity coalition wins Romania polls | Pakistan Today

Anti-austerity coalition wins Romania polls

Romania’s centre-left governing coalition has comfortably won a weekend parliamentary poll with nearly 60 per cent of the vote, partial results have showed. With 80 per cent of the polling stations reporting, the results confirmed exit polls that declared the Social-Liberal Union (USL) headed by Prime Minister Victor Ponta as winner in Sunday’s poll. Despite the fact that it (USL) has only held power since May, many voters saw it as the party of change because it has promised to roll back austerity cuts undertaken by prevous government. Parties close to President Traian Basescu came in a distant second with nearly 17 per cent of the vote. Turnout was low at 41.6 per cent as disenchantment with politics remains high in the newest European Union member. The win deals a blow to President Basescu who is due to officially appoint the new prime minister. There has been no reaction yet on the outcome of the poll from Basescu, who will be travelling to Oslo on Monday together with other heads of state to collect the Nobel peace prize awarded to the EU earlier this year. Ponta was appointed prime minister in May, the third prime minister this year, but he had a bitter battle with Basescu, whose mandate expires in 2014. Basescu’s allies, who were in government from 2008, grew unpopular due to harsh austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund and European Union in exchange for a $26bn (20 billion euro) bailout loan in 2009, and allegations of cronyism.



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