Romanian Court Affirms Incumbent President's Victory

Dec. 14, 2009, midnight

Romania's Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that incumbent President Traian BAESCU has won a disputed December 6 runoff election. According to the country's election authority, reconsideration of more than 138,000 invalidated ballots did not change the result, which has BAESCU defeating Mircea GEOANA, Social Democratic challenger and Foreign Minister, by two-thirds of a point. GEOANA's party challenged the result last week, alleging vote-buying, multiple voting, and ballot box-stuffing. The media have focused on whether BAESCU's cabinet will produce a 2010 budget, which the exiting caretaker government did not. Citing the budget impasse, the International Monetary Fund halted more than US$2 billion in loans to Romania earlier this year.

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