BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - The centrist party supported by Romania's president was leading in the country's parliamentary elections, according to early results Monday.
With 71 percent of votes from Sunday's elections counted the Democratic Liberal Party had about 33 percent, officials said. The leftist Social Democrats had just over 32 percent.
If those results are repeated over the entire vote, neither party would have a majority in Parliament. The future government is likely to be a coalition of two or more parties, and negotiations were already under way.
Mircea Geoana, leader of the Social Democrats, continued to insist that his party would win.
"Stay calm. We are seeing the results from the big cities. The results from the countryside will come later," he told reporters. The party has strong rural support.
The center-right Liberal Party was lying third with about 18 percent, said Election Office spokesman Marian Muhulet.
President Traian Basescu names the prime minister who then has to be validated by parliament.
The partial results showed the ethnic Hungarian party in the new parliament with more than 6 percent of votes. The ultranationalist Greater Romania Party was failing to reach the the 5 percent minimum, the results showed.
Two polls late Sunday that have been highly reliable in past elections said that the leftists had come first.
Anxiety over the global financial crisis was a major issue in the elections.