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Romania follows Ukraine's footsteps

Last Sunday Romania held both parliamentary and presidential elections simultaneously. Social-democratic party headed by prime-minister Adrian Nastase and rightist-centrist bloc of National-liberal and democratic parties headed by mayor of Busharest Trajan Basesku were the two main rivals.

As far as the results of the parliamentary elections are concerned, the ruling party of Social-democrats has won the elections. However, the advantage appeared to be rather insignificant: opposition bloc was just a few votes away from the victory. That is why social-democrats will have to form a coalition with one of the smaller parties (that managed to overcome the minimum 5% barrier) in order to establish a government that would be able to function properly. At the same time, some foreign observers allow for the possibility that the government may in fact consist of social-democrats and their opponents from rightist-centrist bloc.

Even though such possibility appears quite strange at first, there is a chance it will be put into effect. The fact is that the parliamentary elections are not the main intrigue at the moment. Nastase and Basesku are competing for the presidential post. They were the only ones to enter the second round of the elections. Based on preliminary elections, the prime-minister has 38 per cent of supporters whereas the mayor of Bucharest possesses 35 per cent. The second round of the elections is set for December 12th, 2004.

Turbulent events in the neighboring Ukraine had significant impact on Romania's elections campaign. Prior to the election, opposition press started spreading the news of possible falsification of election results. This looks exactly like the events in Ukraine: Victor Yushchenko and his supporters were saying similar things before the elections had begun.

Romanian oppositionists claimed they could prove the fact that supporters of the prime-minister intended to use specially devised computer program to count ballots. Adrian Nastase called such reports “false” and “an insult to all Romanian citizens”.

In any case, after the elections were over, opposition leader Trayan Basesku said he disagreed with the results and urged authorities to conduct thorough investigation. It is very hard to refrain from drawing a parallel with Ukraine after this… Still, the most interesting part is still to come after December 12th, 2004.