Prime Minister Victor Ponta wins parliamentary elections in Romania
Romania’s ruling centre-left government has won last weekend’s parliamentary elections, according to exit polls. Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s Social-Liberal Union (USL) party received 57 % of the vote winning his opponent, the centre-right President Traian Basescu of the Right Romania Alliance (ARD) who took only 19% of the ballot.
As Victor Ponta stated: "I am ready to lead the next government. The sole orientation of the government I will lead will be pro-European and pro-NATO. The future of Romania lies in the European family."
Earlier in 2012, the USL coalition tried to unseat President Basescu, resulting in being severely criticized by the European Union and the United States. Following this incident, the President accused the USL leaders of driving the country away from the EU, which it joined in 2007.
In addition, mr Basescu hinted before the election that he might refuse to re-appoint mr Ponta as prime minister and has described him as a "mythomaniac". Despite their differences, the two men will now be forced to share power, since Basescu‘s term runs until 2014.
Being EU’s second-poorest member after Bulgaria, Romania is facing financial instability and painful austerity measures .The average monthly wage currently stands at 350 euros and about three million Romanians have emigrated looking for jobs and better living conditions elsewhere. The country hopes to negotiate a new deal with the IMF in the coming months after getting a 20-billion-euro lifeline in 2009 and a five-billion-euro precautionary loan in 2011.