BucharestÂ – Campaigning for seats in Romania’s parliament officially kicked off this Friday, with 2,965 candidates competing in the November 30 elections.
This will be the first time that Romanians vote directly for a representative in Parliament, rather than their preferred political party.
A preliminary opinion poll published today by the daily newspaper Evenimentul Zilei showed the right of centre Democratic Party leading with some 32 per cent of votes, and the left leaning Social Democratic Party a fraction behind with 31 per cent.
The poll gave the ruling centrist Liberal Party 18 per cent of the seats in parliament, while the far-right Greater Romania Party and the party of ethnic Hungarians in Romania each gathered some 5 per cent of votes.
Up to now, the current Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the leader of the Social Democrats Mircea Geoana, and former foreign minister and member of the Democratic Party Theodor Stolojan have all announced their intention to stand for prime minister.
The elections are taking place in a heated political atmosphere in Romania, with many workers and public servants demanding better pay and some 70,000 teachers threatening to start a strike on November 18.