Romania seeks to help overseas voters

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2014 8:20 AM
Romania seeks to help overseas voters

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's government is taking steps to make sure that citizens living overseas have no trouble voting in the country's presidential runoff election on Nov. 16.

The contestants will be Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who won about 40 percent of Sunday's vote, and Mayor of Sibiu Klaus Iohannis, who won about 30 percent. The winner will replace President Traian Basescu, who is stepping down after 10 years.

Hundreds of thousands of Romanians living overseas can vote in the countries where they are living, but they must do that in person at facilities such as Romanian embassies.

On Sunday angry protests broke out in London and Paris after Romanians said they were unable to vote there, despite waiting in line for hours. Voters also complained of being unable to vote in Munich and Vienna.

On Monday, Ponta ordered Romanian ambassadors and officials working at other facilities where ballots can be cast overseas to meet in Bucharest to make sure the problem doesn't occur again during the runoff.

Ponta, 42, has said that if he wins the runoff there will be stability and an end to bitter feuding between Romania's prime minister and president.

Iohannis, 55, the center-right mayor of the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, has promised an independent justice system to guarantee the rule of law.