Romanian Foreign minister Melescanu resigns over presidential vote abroad Romania Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu announced his resignation on Tuesday, taking responsibility for the impossibility that not all Romanians were able to vote at polling stations abroad in the presidential elections on Sunday. He said he would submit his resignation in a government meting today - eight days after he was named Foreign minister, replacing Titus Corlatean, who resigned over similar issues.
UPDATE PM Victor Ponta admits defeat in Romania presidential elections: The people is always right / Iohannis claims victory as governmental abuse of voting abroad prompts huge turnout Two hours after polls closed and exit polls announced results in Romania presidential elections on Sunday were too close to call, candidate Victor Ponta - who is also prime minister - admitted defeat against opposition candidate Klaus Iohannis. For his part, shortly after Ponta's statement Iohannis first claimed victory with messages on Facebook addressing the huge numbers of people turning out to vote: "We took our country back!"
Exit polls - Romania presidential elections: Vote is too close to call as Romanians abroad show up in impressive numbers despite humiliating conditions. Claims of major irregularities by candidate Ponta's camp in rural Romania Exit polls in Romania presidential elections announced at 9.00 p.m. on Sunday showed PM Victor Ponta and opposition candidate Klaus Iohannis neck in neck with votes counted by 7.00 p.m. local time, as thousands of people were still waiting to vote at polling stations across Europe and the US. Exit polls run by TV channels close to Ponta showed a slight advantage to Ponta (50,3 to 49.7%), while one for public TV channel TVR showed a 3 percentage points advantage for Iohannis. Online media report major irregularities by Victor Ponta's camp especially in rural Romania.updating
Thousands of Romanians form queues of hundreds of meters at polling stations abroad in defiant vote in key presidential elections A rare view in cities across Europe on Sunday: thousands of Romanians living abroad formed queues hundreds of meters long to cast their ballots in presidential elections today, as the government led by PM Victor Ponta, who runs in the poll, failed to properly organise voting abroad properly despite calls to do so after major problems in the first round of elections. At some polling stations in European capitals, turnout was up to twice as big as the one reported in the November 2 round of elections.
Romania elects new President in tense poll as sinister campaign ends Romania heads to the polls on Sunday for a second round of presidential elections seen as key for democracy and state of law in the SE European country. After one of the dirtiest electoral campaign in Romania's 25 year post-communist history, some 18 million people have to choose between current Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, who has run a populist, nationalistic campaign appealing to the poorer segments of the population, and Klaus Iohannis, the ethnic German, popular mayor of Sibiu city, who has little to no experience in national or international politics.
Official results in first round of Romania presidential elections: Victor Ponta - 40.33%, Klaus Iohannis - 30.44% Romanian Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta won the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday with 40.33% of the votes, followed by the leading opposition candidate, Klaus Iohannis, with 30.44%, according to official partial results with 98.3% of votes counted by Monday at noon.
Romanian voters abroad humiliated: government organisers forced them to wait for hours in long queues in European cities in presidential poll ​Hundreds of Romanians abroad faced humiliation on Sunday as they had to wait in long queues at voting stations in many cities across Europe in an attempt to cast their ballots in the presidential elections. Unprecedentedly bad organisation saw many of them incapable of voting after waiting for hours. The responsibility for the organisation of voting abroad belonged to Romania's Foreign Ministry according to the law regulating presidential elections. So question marks appeared about a supposed intention to undermine voting abroad, as the Romanian diaspora is known for voting against the Social Democrats, who are now led by prime minister Victor Ponta, the leading candidate in these elections.
UPDATE Exit polls in first round of Romania presidential elections: Ponta 40%, Iohannis second, Macovei dominates close fight for third place Romanian PM Victor Ponta won 40% of votes in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, followed at a distance of about 6-10% by main rival Klaus Iohannis, according to exit polls announced at 9 p.m. A very close fight is taking place for the third place, with Monica Macovei appearing to be shoulder to shoulder with Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Elena Udrea in lead of the pack. The exit polls are partial and reflect the situation at 7 p.m., while not including a very important vote of the large Romanian diaspora.UPDATE Ponta and his supporters ireceived the results cautiously, suggesting they expected worse results once the official counting starts delivering real numbers. Klaus Iohannis came forward to say that of all candidates he alone remains to defend the state of law.
Romania heads to first round of presidential elections in key moment for democracy and state of law Romanian democracy and state of law are facing a new challenge 25 years after the fall of communism as the country heads to the polls to elect a new president on Sunday. Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, the ethnic German mayor of the city of Sibiu Klaus Iohannis spearheading the opposition and 12 other candidates are vying for the seat which incumbent President Traian Basescu has held for ten struggling years. The first round of elections today ends a campaign like no other in Romania's recent past, with no real political debate but marred by a sweeping wave of corruption-related arrests, suspicions of intelligence services interfering with the political process, and a heavy use of biased media to smear rivals and shove sensitive issues under the carpet.
Romania President Basescu claims PM, presidential candidate Ponta served as foreign intelligence office in 1997-2001. Ponta doesn't confirm or dismiss, but speaks of "lies". Possible effects of scandal Romania President Traian Basescu claimed on Monday evening that PM Victor Ponta, who is a leading candidate for the November 2 presidential elections, served as an officer for the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service in 1997-2001. PM Ponta on Tuesday morning avoided confirming or dismissing the allegation, but spoke of "lies" and "trash" pushed by the President. The accusations possibly has major political and security implications and sparks a huge scandal just weeks before the first round of the presidential poll.
Romanian anti-graft prosecutors call for criminal inquiries against no less than nine former ministers in Microsoft-related case Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) plans to start criminal inquiries against nine former ministers for alleged acts of corruption in a case related to the acquisition of Microsoft licenses. The head of DNA on Friday demanded the Prosecutor General to notify the President of Romania, the speakers of the Senate and House of Deputies and the European Parliament so that it start criminal inquiries against the nine, who served as ministers in Social Democrat Adrian Nastase's government in the early 2000's and in more recent years, when Emil Boc, a Democratic Liberal, served as PM.
Russia's silent threat. The pillars of Kremlin influence in Romanian domestic life "There is no rational threat to Romania [from Russia], but we have to prepare for the irrational", Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a speech in late August, as Russia's campaign to split Eastern Ukraine was in full swing. Irrational or not, Russia is already playing in Romania several of its aces, some built hastily, some built carefully in time. The purpose of the Kremlin is to influence the domestic and foreign play of a troubled country, as it does along its Western borders: in the three Baltic states, in Poland, not to mention the Republic and Moldova and Ukraine. The stake for Moscow is to keep NATO and EU as far away from its borders as possible in order to keep away the democratic values of the Western bloc and prevent a deterioration of its sphere of influence.
Romania President Traian Basescu calls on EU, NATO allies to provide weapons to Ukrainian army, says financial, military, energy sanctions on Russia are needed President Traian Basescu said at at a meeting with Romanian ambassadors on Friday that a major escalation of Russian acts in favor of separatists in East Ukraine was obvious and that there was a risk that the balance turned in favor of the Russian Federation. He said that at the European Council on Saturday he would call for the strengthening of the sanctions already decided on Russia, in the financial, energy and military sectors.
Romanian excises on fuel, energy or coffee based on a fictitious exchange rate While the Romanian currency, leu (RON), has been stable since the beginning of the year, with an average rate of 4.45 RON/euro, the Romanian Government has invented a RON/euro rate above the real one in order to draw more money from excises. For the whole year of 2014, the currency rate set for the calculation of all excises has been set by an emergency ordinance at 4.738 RON/euro. Thus, prices for all excisable products (fuel, electricity, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, luxury products) are based on a rate which is 6.4% higher than the real one.
Romanian mogul Dan Voiculescu, influential businessman and politician, receives 10 year prison sentence in corruption case The Bucharest Appeals Court gave a 10-year prison sentence in the case of Romanian mogul Dan Voiculescu, one of the country's most powerful people, in a corruption case related to the privatisation of a food research institute. The historic verdict is final and comes after years of judicial procedures, delays, political maneuvering and media attacks on the judiciary. A previous court had given a five year sentence in the same case, but it was appealed.
Pascal Bruckner: Putin doesn't tell us how much he despises us, he sees us as degenerates / Not only France, but the whole Europe seems to want to drop from history Pascal Bruckner's generation is the last generation of French thinkers who get involved in public debates. "Nothing can happen without debate", says Bruckner in a long discussion with Romanian website about great French intellectuals, about the angst and low spirits of the French for the past several years, about politics and Putin, about the French law against prostitution and about his last book, autobiographic novel "Un bon fils", recently published in Romanian. Bruckner remains a moralist with a high interest in politics - he spares nothing to criticize the current French president - a dauntless supporter of Europe and a thinker always ready to polemicize.
Romania PM Victor Ponta's chief secretary summoned to National Anti-Corruption Department Romania prime minister Victor Ponta's Head of Chancellery Vlad Stoica was summoned to the National Anti-Corruption Department on Wednesday for his witness account in a major corruption case involving the local mogul of the governing Social Democrats (PSD).
Putin's ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has visited Romania Russian President Vladimir Putin's unofficial ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has been in Romania for the past several days, where he met representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church about his Eurasian project "The Third Rome", writer Mircea Popa, secretary general of the Romania-Russia Foundation, has told
Romania Parliament adopts statement calling for resignation of President Basescu Romania's Parliament adopted on Wednesday a non-binding political statement calling for the resignation of President Traian Basescu, in the wake of a public scandal in which Basescu's brother is accused of involvement in acts of corruption.
Romania is for the first time amongst Knight News Challenge winners with a consortium of & RISE Project - OCCRP The Romania-based project "Who are the gatekeepers of the Internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe? Mapping and investigating media distribution providers" was among the nine projects selected for funding by the Knight News Challenge. The Knight Foundation organized on June 23 the MIT-Knight Civic Media conference "The Open Internet and Everything After", in order to present this year's granted projects of Knight News Challenge. 704 applications have been submitted, with nine projects selected for funding.


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