Romania’s incumbent president, Klaus Iohannis, won a clear victory in the first round of his country’s elections held on November 10.
Iohannis, who was backed by the governing National Liberal Party, is expected to receive more than 40% of the votes. His opponent, the recently ousted Social Democrat Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, garnered 24% of the vote.
With the turnout low, Romania’s sizable diaspora turned out in record numbers to cast 675,000 votes, the majority of which went to Iohannis, the pro-EU centre-right candidate. In the run-up to the election, Iohannis pledged to continue strengthening the rule of law “to eliminate the toxic interventions in the past years”.
Romania has been frequently slammed by the EU for its inadequate judicial reforms and history of endemic corruption.
A second round is scheduled for November 24, which will see Iohannis again face-off with Dancila. The former is expected to win but will be likely deprived of a majority.