(AFP) – Dec 14, 2009
BUCAREST — Romania's Constitutional Court confirmed Monday the re-election of President Traian Basescu, unanimously rejecting a plea for the vote to be quashed from his Social Democrat rival Mircea Geoana.
"The Constitutional Court confirms that Mr Basescu is elected as president of Romania, having picked up the largest number of votes cast," judges said in a statement.
"The Court unanimously rejected a request by the Social Democratic Party to cancel the second round of voting held on December 6," the statement added.
Geoana had alleged that the vote was riddled with fraud, with vote-buying, multiple voting and false returns.
Basescu won the December 6 poll with 50.33 percent of votes cast, some 70,000 ahead of Geoana.
"I accept the Court's ruling and I wish President Basescu a lot of success for his new term. The battle for the presidency of Romania ends here", Geoana told reporters after the Court's announcement.
However, the Social Democrat leader asked for a parliamentary inquiry to look at how the vote was carried out in the last presidential election.
The Court's ruling clears the way for a new government in Romania.
The country which became a member of the European Union in 2007 has been led by a caretaker government since early October, when the coalition between Geoana's PSD and Basescu PDL collapsed.
In November, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union froze a new disbursement of their 20-billion-euro package to Romania until a new government will be sworn-in, dealing a new blow to the heavily recession-hit economy.
The Liberal Party (PNL) which is the third political force in the country said on Monday it was ready to talk with all parties to form a new government provided one of its member or an independent figure will be prime minister.
Up until now, the PNL had said it wanted to work with the Social Democrats.
President Basescu said repeatedly that he favoured a right-wing coalition between his Liberal-Democratic Party (PDL) and the PNL.
The new government's main task will be to draft a new 2010 budget based on a deficit of 5.9 percent of output in order to benefit from the IMF bail-out plan.
A small technical team from the IMF and the EU's executive Commission arrived in Bucharest on Monday to "continue the technical work on the 2010 budget with experts of the Ministry of Public Finance," IMF representative Tonny Lybeck said.
"The review mission could return in January, once a new cabinet has been formed and has elaborated its program," he added.
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