13 December 2004 -- Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase has conceded defeat in the country's presidential runoff election.
Electoral authorities say that with 99 percent of the votes counted, the centrist opposition leader Traian Basescu has received 51.23 percent of the vote, compared with 48.77 percent for Nastase.
Nastase, of the former communist Social Democrats, appeared on national television to say that he acknowledged Basescu as the new president of Romania.
"[Results] indicate the fact that Traian Basescu is the next president of Romania. This was the will of the Romanians and I respect it," Nastase said.
Basescu, of the Justice and Truth alliance, campaigned on a program of cleaning up corruption and continuing to prepare Romania for entry into the European Union.
Observers say Basescu may have a difficult task in forming the new government after inconclusive parliamentary elections last month failed to give a clear majority to any party. He has already ruled out forming a coalition with the nationalist Greater Romania Party.
(Reuters/AP/AFP)See also:Has Romania's Presidential Runoff Produced First 'Cohabitation' Scenario?