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Ruling Party Holds Slim Lead In Romanian Vote

30 November 2004 -- Romania's ruling party today held a narrow lead in the continuing vote count following the 28 November parliamentary and presidential elections, but the figures suggest the governing Social Democratic Party will have too few seats to form a majority government.

With about 90 percent of votes counted, the ruling Social Democrats have more than 36 percent of votes, followed by the centrist Justice and Truth Alliance with 31 percent. Final results are expected later today.

The figures so far indicated neither party would be able to form a majority government and would have to seek a coalition partner.

The far-right nationalist Greater Romania party received about 13 percent, and the ethnic Hungarian Party just under 7 percent.

In the presidential race, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase won almost 41 percent and his main challenger Traian Basescu under 34 percent, setting the stage for a runoff vote on 12 December.

The opposition has alleged fraud. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote was well organized and executed but called on the authorities to investigate reports of mulitiple voting.


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