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Romanian gov't expected to win bitter elections

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2012 at 9:20 am •  Published: December 9, 2012
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Valentina Lupan, an architect voting in Bucharest, said she was determined to cast a ballot, despite the bad weather.

"People will go and vote even if there's snow and rain because they've had enough," she said. "We've had enough of being insulted and humiliated. We want a normal life."

As he voted, Basescu again accused the government of this former communist country of failing to devote itself to democratic reforms. He said Romania must continue its "path toward the West" and show the world it is "headed toward Brussels, not Moscow, and Washington, not Beijing."

For his part, Ponta said he remains committed to leading Romania to a better future.

More than 18 million Romanians are eligible to vote in Sunday's ballot to elect 452 representatives of a two-chamber Parliament for the next four years. Parties need at least 5 percent of the vote to secure a seat in the two-chamber legislature.

Polls put Ponta's Union of Socialist Liberals at about 57 percent, with Basescu allies, the center-right Just Romania Alliance, second with about 20 percent. The populist party of media tycoon Dan Diaconescu has profited from the rancor, coming in third with about 15 percent.

Besides the failed bid to impeach Basescu, the country has seen three prime ministers and Cabinets this year and huge anti-austerity protests. The EU and the United States criticized the government for failing to respect the rule of law and of ignoring constitutional rules during the impeachment attempt.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was monitoring Sunday's vote.