The surprise win by provincial mayor Klaus Iohannis in Romania’s presidential elections is still sinking in. Not only is he a relatively fresh political face but he is also an ethnic German and a protestant in a country with a huge orthodox majority.
Analysts such as Iohannis supporter Emil Hurezeanu see his election as a win for the internet over traditional political campaigning.
“We are speaking about people who come and go, live and work maybe in another country, people who can read, who have access to internet and breathe the air of unconstrained freedom. I think through Iohannis, the logistics of the public sphere have won the fight over the political system,” said political analyst Emil Hurezeanu.
Hours after his unexpected defeat Prime Minister Victor Ponta has tried to allay political tensions stressing his commitment to dialogue.
But thousands of Romanians have already began calling for Ponta and the old guard to quit.
Romania is Europe’s second poorest nation and corruption is rife. Many may view a fresh face at the helm as a catalyst for change.