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Romanians Voting In Runoff For President

12 December 2004 -- Romanians are voting in runoff elections to choose a president.

The vote pits Prime Minister Adrian Nastase (Profile: Adrian Nastase) from the ruling Social Democrats, the former communists, against the center-right candidate, Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu (Profile: Traian Basescu).

Reports say turnout is slow, with just a quarter of registered voters having cast ballots midway through the polling period.

Basescu today appealed to voters to reject what he termed was corruption under Nastase. "It is a day when Romanians have the chance to continue with corruption and disregard for people or the chance we offer them -- a Romania belonging to Romanians," he said.

Nastase won the first round of voting on 28 November -- but failed to gain the needed 50 percent support. The opposition and nongovernmental groups say the vote was marred by fraud.

First results are expected shortly after polls close later today.