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Romanian Prime Minister concedes defeat to Iohannis in presidential election

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Romanian Prime Minister concedes defeat to Iohannis in presidential election


Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has conceded defeat in the presidential election, although early exit polls do not give a clear result.

First results are expected in a matter of hours.

Ponta had fought off his centre-right opponent Klaus Iohannis in the first round run-off earlier in November and led opinion polls ahead of the vote.

The diaspora vote will prove critical with almost 4 million Romanians living abroad, the expat results are expected to come in later. In the first round, 15% voted for Ponta, while 46% voted for Iohannis.

Early exit polls from Romania’s second-round presidential run-off show social democrat Prime Minister Victor Ponta and centre-right mayor Klaus Iohannis neck-and-neck.

Three separate polls showed different outcomes. One gave Ponta 50.9 percent of the vote and Iohannis on 49.1 percent in Sunday’s runoff, another showed them tied at exactly 50 percent. While a third showed Iohannis at 50.9 percent.

The turnout could also prove crucial to the result, as of 4pm local time is 44.5% of registered voters.

The former Communist country is emerging from painful budget cuts after the global economic crisis, and tax evasion and corruption are rife.

The result could make one of Europe’s poorest nations more stable as it looks to exit an IMF-led aid deal.

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