The leadership of Romania's main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD) is to finalize the list of candidates to run in parliament elections late this fall. The list will be officially announced at an extraordinary congress on Saturday, when party president Mircea Geoana is expected to be confirmed as the party's bet for the position of prime minister, should PSD win the elections.

Bucharest was "abandoned" by important PSD leaders, but faces most competition for candidacies among their proteges: 150 members fight to get the chance to become one of the 33 candidates to run in elections for Bucharest.

Meanwhile, PSD president opted to ron for an electoral college in the small town of Dabuleni, Dolj county, South Romania. Nicolae Vacaroiu, the current Senate speaker, would run in the county of Arges, ex-PM Adrian Nastase would run in a small town in the county of Prahova, influential PSD member Miron Mitrea would run in a constituency in the county of Vrancea (Eastern Romania), while another, Viorel Hrebenciuc, would run in Bacau, also in Eastern Romania.

Bucharest will see the candidacies of young PSD members including Andrei Iucinu-Tinu, the son of a late journalist closely linked to the PSD, Oana Mizil, the granddaughter of ex-communist leader Niculescu-Mizil, as well as Serban Nicolae, seen as the protege of ex-President Ion Iliescu.

PSD will also put forward the candidacies of celebrities such as former boxer Mihai Leu, folk singer Victor Socaciu and cosmonaut Dumitru Prunariu.