Romania’s centre-right President Klaus Iohannis won a second term early Monday, crushing his socialist challenger in a presidential election runoff with a pledge to resume judicial reforms slowed down by successive Social Democrat (PSD) governments.
Two separate exit polls showed Iohannis garnered 64%-67% of the vote, with former prime minister Viorica Dancila of the left-leaning PSD taking 33-36%.
“The winner today is modern Romania, European Romania, the normal Romania,” Iohannis told reporters in his victory speech.
Under a succession of PSD governments, Romania has rolled back anti-corruption measures. Along with ex-communist peers Poland and Hungary, it has been heavily criticised by Brussels for its actions.
However, 60-year-old Iohannis has been credited by Western allies and the European Union with trying to protect the rule of law, in particular by challenging attempts to limit judges’ independence.
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