BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is widely expected to win a first round of presidential elections on Sunday, with pledges to rekindle anti-graft efforts in one of Europe’s most corrupt nations.
To secure a second term, Iohannis, 60, will probably face a runoff vote on Nov. 24, with opinion polls showing him winning regardless of which of his rivals comes in second on Sunday.
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With the backing of the liberal minority government of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, an ally who won a parliamentary vote of confidence on Monday, Iohannis could install chief prosecutors serious about tackling endemic corruption, observers said.
His re-election could also bolster the Liberal Party’s chances of forming a coalition government after a parliamentary election due in 2020 and restore investor confidence eroded by several years of political instability and fiscal largesse.
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“This should be news to no one, I very much want a fair justice and an efficient fight against corruption,” Iohannis told new Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu earlier this month.
Since winning office in 2014, the former mayor of the Transylvanian city of Sibiu has struggled to limit a judicial overhaul by the ruling Social Democrats (PSD), which Brussels and Washington said threatened the rule of law and which triggered the country’s largest protests in three...
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