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Romanian Premier Leads Presidential Poll

28 November 2004 -- Unofficial exit polls indicate that Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and his governing Social Democratic Party have the lead in today's first round of presidential and parliamentary elections.

The polls, issued shortly after voting ended tonight, indicate that Nastase has 41 percent of the votes for president, compared to 35 percent for his nearest rival, Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu, who heads the center-right Justice and Truth alliance.

The Social Democratic Party is also seen as ahead in the parliamentary race, with almost 39 percent of the vote.

Official results are not expected until 29 November.

The winner in the vote, which has centered on Romania's poverty and corruption, will replace outgoing President Ion Iliescu.