Romania’s leftist Social Democrat Party (PSD) says it will begin talks on forming a coalition after exit polls had them winning Sunday’s parliamentary election.
The PSD is seeking re-election a year after the coalition it led stepped down amid street protests triggered by a fatal nightclub fire in Bucharest.
The demonstrations against inept officials and corruption have since faded.
PSD leader Liviu Dragnea has promised reforms.
His campaign in the run-up to Sunday’s vote pledged to address low living standards throughout much of Romania. Claiming victory he said:
“I want to assure all Romanians that everything we have presented (promised) in our economic programme during this electoral campaign will be implemented by a PSD government.”
Winning close to 46 percent of the vote, the PSD will bring into government their long term liberal ally known as ALDE which took about 6 percent.
The PSD’s nearest rival, the centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL), was left far behind in the Sunday’s poll garnering just 20%. A total of 504 seats were being contested.
One notable performance came from a newcomer to Romanian politics, “The Save Romania Union” party led by Nicusor Dan which on its first time out has won up to 9 percent.
The PDS wants to install Dragnea as prime minister but it’s unclear if that will happen. He is curently serving a two year suspended sentence over electoral fraud which legally bars him from office. He has denied any wrongdoing. But either way the vote marks a remarkable come back for the politician.