Romanians have spent the day voting for a new president in the hope of ending the political and economic crises facing the eastern European nation.
Sunday’s polls are the climax to a closely-fought competition between the current President, Traian Basescu, and his main opponent, Mircea Geoana.
Opinion polls show Basescu as the favourite, with about 35 per cent of the vote. Described as confrontational by political analysts, if Basescu wins, he is expected to work closely with the central bank to stablise the economy.
There is a chance that Geoana may take the top job. Some surveys show the left-wing challenger neck-and-neck with the current president, and opinion polls put him at 30 per cent.
As well as the 18 million Romanians eligible to vote in the country, there is also the expatriate vote to consider. Nearly 10 percent of people from the country live in other parts of Europe – especially Italy and Spain. Near Madrid, over 2,000 of them voted by proxy at 38 polling stations.