Iohannis the favourite in Romania's runoff vote

Incumbent President Klaus Iohannis has won the first round of Romania's presidential election with 36.6 percent of the vote. In the runoff vote he will be pitched against the leader of the social democratic PSD, Viorica Dăncilă, who secured 23.8 percent. Romanian media wonder how Dăncilă managed to get this far.

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PSD is like a latent disease

Journalist Florin Negruțiu wonders in how Dăncilă got as far as the run-off vote despite her poor performance in government:

“After all the despicable acts of this government led from behind the scenes by [ex-PSD leader Liviu] Dragnea, there are still Romanians who vote for the PSD. ... Like a latent disease in our bodies, like a herpes infection that is constantly ready to break out, the PSD stubbornly lives on. ... With people like Dăncilă and co. this party cannot offer anyone a future. A party that has brought underground nationalism and revolting populism into society and fuelled them by appealing to the basest human instincts has nothing in common with European social democracy.”

Ziare (RO) /

Pensioners decided the outcome

Ziare looks at why voter turnout was no more than 47.6 percent:

“Because we had weak candidates, because the excitement and emotionality were lower this time round. And what was left of them was destroyed by the most recent change of government, because we had no real election campaign, just a political crisis in which two protagonists polarised society against each other. This time there was a massive mobilisation of PSD voters aged 65 and over - with 150,000 more votes from this group than in the elections to the European Parliament. ... This is a result of the pension reform [that raised pensions at the beginning of September].”