Incumbent Iohannis Scores Landslide Win in Romania’s Presidential Election over Ex-PM Dancila
Nearly 1 million Romanians from the diaspora abroad have taken part in the vote, with the overwhelming majority supporting Iohannis.
Romania’s incumbent President Klaus Iohannis has won a second five-year term utterly defeating the country’s former Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in the second round of the 2019 presidential election on Sunday.
Iohannis received twice as many votes as Dancila, according to exit polls and initial partial results, The Romania Insider reported.
In the first round of Romania’s 2019 presidential election two weeks ago, the incumbent received 37% of the votes vs. 22% for the main challenger.
Iohannis received 66.5% of the votes compared to 33.5% for Viorica Dancila, according to an exit poll by IRES, which includes estimates about the Romanian diaspora abroad.
Another exit poll, carried out by CURS Avangarde, showed that 64.8% of the votes cast on in the second round went to Iohannis and 35.2% went to Dancila.
Partial results announced late on Sunday night, with 98% of the votes counted, showed that Klaus Iohannis had won more than 63%.
Of the 277,000 votes of Romanians living abroad, which were counted by midnight Eastern European Time (local time), 93% had gone to Iohannis, according to Romania’s Permanent Electoral Authority.
Sunday’s second round of Romania’s presidential election saw a turnout over nearly 50%, with more than 9 million votes cast in Romania. More than 930,000 Romanians cast their votes abroad, setting a new record for the country’s diaspora.
Iohannis, an ethnic German who was the former mayor of the city of Sibiu in Transylvania, is widely regarded as pro-Western and an anti-corruption figure.
Dancila, Prime Minister form January 2018 until November 2019, recently lost a no confidence vote over corruption allegations involving the former leader of her Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, who was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison on graft charges in May 2019.
In its latest post-accession progress monitoring report, the European Commission criticized Romania for backtracking on judicial reform.
“The winner today is modern Romania, European Romania, the normal Romania,” said the 60-year-old Klaus Iohannis in his victory speech.
“I receive this victory with joy, thankfulness, modesty and with faith in Romania,” he stated.
Iohannis also emphasized that was the most categoric win ever recorded against the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
“The war is not over yet,” he added, urging Romanians to go out and vote in the country’s local and parliamentary elections in 2020, and to send the PSD, which present has a plurality in the Romanian legislature, into opposition.
“After this victory, there are many things to do, to repair. I will get involved in creating a new majority, made of the democratic parties, which will lead Romania towards modernization, Europeanization,” Iohannis said, adding that he will be “a president fully involved for Romania.”
(Banner image: Klaus Iohannis on Twitter)