A day after the elections, Romania has been celebrating its National Day, with politics on everyone’s mind. By law, President Traian Basescu must nominate the new Prime Minister – but with no clear party winner, tough negotiations lie ahead.
A coalition is inevitable. The Liberal Democrats of Emil Boc won a third of the vote, and their close ties to the president put them in a strong position to promote his collegue Theodor Stolojan into the top job. The leftist Social Democrats came out narrowly on top with 33 percent, and will have a strong claim on the premiership. But the party is seen as the least likely to rein-in government spending, a vital task amid world economic worries. Wrangling over the government could further weaken Bucharest’s economy, which is perceived as more vulnerable than its neighbours to the global downturn.