Romania’s opposition Social Democrats have won parliamentary elections, on a wave of discontent over the coronavirus pandemic and the minority Liberal government’s commitment to cut spending, partial results show.
With about 96% of the votes counted, the left-leaning Social Democrats won 29.7% of votes and the center-right Liberals of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban 25.57%.
However, neither party has enough votes to form a majority and the Social Democrats will likely struggle to find allies. The progressive USR-Plus alliance, which is a likely coalition partner for the Liberals came third winning 15.5% of votes.
The biggest surprise of the elections was the election of a newcomer to Parliament. The ultranationalist Alliance for Uniting Romanians won about 9%.
The count does not include some 265,000 votes cast by Romanians living abroad.
The ethnic Hungarian party, the UDMR scored about 6%. Other parties failed to get more than 5%.
The indecisive result, which came after historically low turnout, will complicate post-election negotiations.