The governing Socialists in Bulgaria came out as winners of the European elections organized in Bulgaria on Sunday, one day after Romania’s main left-wing party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), lost considerable ground with a crushing defeat in their move to suspend the President in a referendum.

A Gallup poll quoted by shows the PM Sergei Stanishev’s Socialists and the GERB party each received some 23% of the vote in the country’s first elections for the European Parliament.

The vote placed the Turkish minority party third with 18.5% of the vote, followed by the Simeon II National Movement and the radical party Ataka.

The news came as the main left-wing party in Romania, Social Democrats, failed to mobilize voters in their struggle to remove arch-rival, President Traian Basescu from office in a referendum on Saturday. Basescu’s return to presidency with the support of about 75% of the population is seen as a crushing defeat for both the PSD and the governing Liberals, who have pushed for the referendum.

The referendum came at the peak of a major political crisis in Romania which prompted prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu to postpone the country’s first European elections, originally programmed for May 20, until later this year.