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Romanians Go To Polls To Elect New President

Romanian voters were going to the polls on November 2 to elect a replacement for President Traian Basescu, who is stepping down in December after 10 years in office.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta was seen as the most likely to win the vote.

He was being challenged by candidates that include a city mayor and a prominent lawyer.

If no candidate secures an absolute majority in the vote, there will be a runoff on November 16.

Romania’s president, who is in charge of defense and foreign policy, also is empowered to name the heads of the country’s two main intelligence agencies, as well as top prosecutors and ambassadors.

Ponta is a 42-year-old former prosecutor whose popularity does not appear to have been badly damaged by corruption probes of senior members of his Social Democratic Party.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP