Romania Polls: PSD Stages Comeback

PSD leader Liviu DragneaPSD leader Liviu Dragnea

Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) has comfortably won the parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results, a year after a major anti-corruption drive forced the left-leaning party from power.

Election authorities said on Monday that with 99% of the votes from Sunday’s elections counted, the PSD held about 46%, Aljazeera reported.

PSD’s main rival, the center-right National Liberal Party (PNL), came at a distant second spot with about 20% of votes.

The Save Romania Union, a new party that ran on an anti-corruption ticket, finished third with 9%, allowing it to enter parliament.

“There should be no doubt who won the elections. Romanians want to feel at home in their own country and I want Romania to be a good home for all Romanians,” PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on the results.

Dragnea resigned as a minister last May following his conviction in a case involving voter fraud. He is currently serving a two-year suspended sentence and barred from holding office. He has denied the charges.

The PSD leader said his party will start talks to form a parliamentary majority with long-time ally Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe that took about 6% of the vote.

The election follows a year of a technocrat government in Romania, the EU’s fastest-growing economy but also one of its poorest, put in place after massive street protests brought down the previous PSD-led government.

Triggered by a deadly fire in the Colectiv club in Bucharest that lacked emergency exits and other safety measures, the protests called for sweeping change in Romania to address chronically inept public administration and corruption.

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