Romanians go to the polls tomorrow in a closely- fought presidential election amid fears it may not resolve a government crisis that is stalling investment and reforms.
Outgoing President Traian Basescu has the slimmest of leads over his nearest rival Mircea Geoana, with both men polling around or just over 30 percent. Geoana is leading the left’s bid to try and unseat the centrist Basescu’s grip on power following the collapse last month of the centre-left coalition due to party in-fighting. Trailing in third place is Crin Antonescu, a liberal, with 18 percent. 20 years after the fall of Communism Romania still has to enact many vital reforms, and remains one of the EU’s poorest members. Many voters appear unconvinced their politicians are up to the job: “I’m expecting nothing. Everything Basescu promised he hasn’t done. For pensioners the situation is disasterous. I’ve been working for 60 years and get a pension of 23 euros a month.” “To be honest I would not like to go to vote because I don’t trust politicians any more. I’m sure there are many people who don’t trust them. I’ll only decide in the second round.” That will take place on December the sixth if, as seems likely, no-one wins an outright majority tomorrow.