The presidential elections began on Sunday morning in Romania, over 18 million eligible voters are expected to turn to polls to elect a new president for the next five-year term.
A number of 12 candidates entered the race for the state’s top position.
The incumbent President Traian Basescu is running for a second term, with the backing of the Liberal Democratic Party. The main political parties have nominated their leaders for the presidential race: Mircea Geoana runs on behalf of the Social Democratic Party; Crin Antonescu — for the National Liberal Party; Corneliu Vadim Tudor — for the Greater Romania Party; Kelemen Hunor — for the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania and Gigi Becali — for the Christian Democratic New Generation Party, while Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu runs as an independent.
The best-ranked candidates in the opinion polls are Basescu, Geoana and Antonescu.
Under the Constitution, the President is elected for a 5-year term, renewable once; two successive terms are allowed.
Romania has been in a political gridlock since mid-October, when its democrat liberal government was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament, the first in the 20 years after the fall of the communist regime.
President Traian Basescu failed to win Parliament support for a new prime minister and the country will likely not to have a legitimate government in place before the election runoff scheduled for December 6.