Romanian left and liberals team up against Basescu

Socialists and Liberals have teamed up to oust Romania’s centre-right president in next month’s crucial run-off election vote.

Social Democrat Mircea Geoana, who came second in the first round of Sunday’s presidential vote, has signed an agreement with the Liberal party, which came third.

In return for the Liberals’ support, Geoana has promised that if he wins the presidency he will nominate Klaus Iohannis, the popular mayor of Sibiu, as prime minister. Iohannis was the Liberals’ choice for that post.

Between them the two parties won more than half of the vote in the first round. A repeat of that score would be enough to unseat incumbent president Traian Basescu.

To prevent this, Basescu is trying to cast doubt on Iohannis’s suitability as prime minister. From his campaign headquarters, he said that Iohannis was an “honest man, a bona fide person, but naive” about the intentions of those who are nominating him.

With Romania in the midst of both political and economic crises, voters will decide on December 6 who, between Geoana and Basescu, is the country’s best bet to getting it back on track.

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