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12 December 2004 -- Voting has ended in Romania's presidential election and early, unofficial exit polls show the result is too close to call.

One exit poll shows Prime Minister Adrian Nastase (Profile: Adrian Nastase) beating his challenger, center-right Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu (Profile: Traian Basescu), by 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. Another poll shows a dead heat at 50 percent each.

Reports say both candidates are claiming victory.

Nastase -- of the former communist Social Democratic Party -- won the first round of voting November 28 but failed to gain the needed 50 percent support. Opposition and nongovernmental groups say that vote was badly marred by fraud.

Officials this time had vowed a clean vote.

First official results are expected later tonight or early tomorrow.

(compiled from agency reports)
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