By David Sophrin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
BUCHAREST, Romania – The Romanian Constitutional Court announced, amid allegations of voting fraud, that 138,000 previously voided votes from Sunday’s presidential runoff election will be recounted.
The Constitutional Court, in a released statement, explained that “the court decided by a majority of votes to re-examine the annulled votes and have the [Romanian] Central Election Bureau recount them to establish whether there are any differences between the signed ballots and reality.”
The final vote initially indicated that Romanian President Triain Basescu had defeated the Social Democratic Party candidate Mircea Geoana by approximately 70,000 votes, less than 1% of the 10.4 million votes cast. Geoana and the Social Democratic Party have called for a new election as a result of alleged ballot stuffing, multiple voting and bribing. Following the election results were announced, both leading candidates claimed victory.
It is unlikely that the results of the recount will overturn Basescu’s victory in a election that was called following the collapse of the coalition government of Prime Minister Emil Boc since October. Until a victor is named in this presidential election, however, a new prime minister can’t be named or a federal government formed.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a regional election monitoring group, initially approved of the election practices. “The conduct of the second round confirms our initial assessment that this election was held generally in line with OSCE commitments.”
Nevertheless, immediately following the election, Geoana called for the recount. “The required democratic solution is to contest the outcome of election at the Constitutional Court.”
For more information, please see:
AP – Romania’s court orders void votes re-examined – 12 December 2009
FINANCIAL TIMES – Romanian Court orders recount of votes – 12 December 2009
BBC – Romania court orders recount of void votes – 11 December 2009
NEW YORK TIMES – Romania: Court Rules on Vote – 11 December 2009
REUTERS – Romanian court calls partial recount in runoff – 11 December 2009
REUTERS – Basescu wins Romanian election, rivals cry foul – 7 December 2009