Romania: Klaus Iohannis looks set for second Presidential term

Romania’s centrist President Klaus Iohannis, who has earned praise in the West for his anti-graft stance, won the first round of a presidential ballot on Sunday and will face former premier Viorica Dancila in a Nov. 24 runoff, exit polls showed, Reuters reports.

Two separate exit polls showed Iohannis took 38.7-39% of the vote, followed by Dancila of the left-leaning Social Democrats with 22-22.5%.

Opinion polls see him comfortably winning a second, five-year term in the runoff. 

“Never have Romanians voted so clearly and decisively against the PSD (Social Democrats). This is a huge step for Romania, for those who want the rule of law applied here,” the 60-year-old Iohannis told reporters. 

Romania’s president nominates a prime minister, who has executive powers, after holding consultations with political parties. The president can veto laws approved by parliament by challenging them in the constitutional court or by sending them back to be re-considered.

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