Friday, July 17, 2009
Basescu is Most Popular Candidate in Romania
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Incumbent Traian Basescu is the most popular contender in Romania’s presidential race, according to a poll by CURS.
36 per cent of respondents would vote for Basescu in this year’s ballot.Mircea Geoana of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is second with 24 per cent, followed by Crin Antonescu of the National Liberal Party (PNL) with 20 per cent, and Corneliu Vadim Tudor of the Party of Great Romania (PRM) with 11 per cent. Support is lower for Prince Radu Duda, the still undefined Hungarian Democratic Alliance of Romania (UDMR) candidate, independent lawmaker Nati Meir, and the eventual contender of the Democratic National Peasant Party (PNTCD).Basescu won the presidential run-off in December 2004 as the candidate of the Alliance for Justice and Truth (DA)—comprising the Democratic Party (PD) and the PNL—with 51.23 per cent of the vote.Romania held a legislative election in November 2008.
Final results gave the coalition of the PSD and the Conservative Party (PC) 33.09 per cent of the vote and 114 seats in the lower house, followed by the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) with 32.36 per cent and 115 mandates. Basescu nominated PD-L leader Emil Boc to take over as prime minister from Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
On Jun. 30, Basescu revealed that 108 more Romanian troops will be sent to support military operations in Afghanistan, while only 20 soldiers will remain in Iraq, working on training programs for Iraqi forces. The president declared: "Our participation in the multinational force [in Iraq] will become zero on July 1 this year and will stay zero next year too."Three Romanian soldiers have died in Iraq, while 11 have died in Afghanistan.Romania must hold a presidential election by the end of November 2009. If no candidate garners more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round, a run-off between the top two vote-getters must take place within 14 days. July 16, 2009