The main candidates in Romania’s presidential election have crossed their ballot papers in a poll seen as crucial to the country’s future.
Incumbent Traian Basescu has a slight lead going into the vote knowing that if he wins he faces a tough tenure, battling endemic corruption and introducing a major overhaul of a sprawling public sector. “I believe this is one of the most important elections in the country ‘s history…today we choose a president and how the parliament operates,” he said. His main challenger is the former ambassador to Washington Mircea Geoana. The leader of the Social Democrats has been drafted in to clean up the party, which has been sullied by graft and foot-dragging over vital reforms. The third man in the running is the Liberal Crin Antonescu. He is vowing to freeze utility prices and ease taxation, but has a lot of ground to make up if he is to avoid elimination at the first hurdle. If none of the candidates pass the 50 per cent mark a runoff will take place on the 6th of December.