Romanias ruling USL coalition might win two-third majority in parliament.

By bne IntelliNews December 11, 2012
Romania's ruling USL coalition received 58.6% of the votes for the Chamber of Deputies and 60.1% for the Senate following Sunday's elections, according to quasi-final official results, which is slightly more than the exit polls had indicated, Ziarul Financiar daily reported quoting official data from the electoral bureau. Some 99.6% of the votes had been counted at the time the results were issued. Independent vote counting of the USL indicated that the ruling coalition might get 73.6% of the seats in parliament - the head of the USL campaign, Liviu Dragnea, said on Monday morning, quoted by Antena3 TV station. Yet, no official estimate on the number of seats has been issued and USL has not further commented on its own estimates. Nonetheless, given the majority vote system in force, it is highly likely that the ruling USL coalition wins a comfortable two-third majority in each of the two parliament chambers. This would moderate the tensions already generated by the scenario of a further partnership with the ethnic Hungarians. PM Victor Ponta already softened his statements after announcing as imminent such a cooperation on Sunday night. The main opposition force, ARD, received only 16.5% and 16.7% of the votes in the two chambers, respectively. The alliance was formed around the former ruling PDL party of President Traian Basescu. It will cease functioning as an alliance, it was announced. A major reshuffling will predictably take place within what remains the main opposition party, PDL. The exotic party of TV station tycoon Dan Diaconescu, won a significant 14% and 14.6%, respectively, in the two chambers - also slightly more than indicated by the exit polls and a massive share of the voters' support given the fact that the party participated in general elections for a first time. Ethnic Hungarians will predictably get some 5% of the votes and make it to parliament. IntelliNews Comment : President Basescu has not commented yet on the results of the parliamentary elections. By law, he is supposed to appoint a PM designate from within the winning party, who forms a cabined and attempts to get a majority support in parliament. He firmly commented that incumbent PM Ponta does not qualify for the position, but the elections' outcome gives him a small room of manoeuvre. Inflammation of the political tensions, prompted by the president's refusal to appoint Ponta, would have a negative short-term economic impact [on the exchange rate particularly] and uncertain benefits for the president or the opposition parties.

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