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Romania Set For Presidential, Parliamentary Poll

27 November 2004 -- Romanian voters will decide tomorrow who will lead the country through the drastic structural reforms needed to join the EU in 2007.

Widespread corruption and persisting poverty have dominated the campaign for parliamentary and presidential elections.

Prime Minister Adrian Nastase of the governing ex-communist Social Democrat Party (PSD), and Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu of the center-left Democrat Party are the top candidates to succeed outgoing President Ion Iliescu. Polls show they have equal support.

No candidate is expected to win outright in the first round, meaning there will likely be a runoff on 12 December.

PSD and its smaller Humanist Party ally hold a small lead in the parliamentary race over the centrist
Justice and Truth alliance comprising the Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party.

(news agencies)