Romania’s center-right President Klaus Iohannis won another term premature Monday, crushing his socialist challenger at a presidential election runoff using a pledge to restart judicial reforms slowed down from consecutive Social Democrat (PSD) authorities.
Two different exit polls revealed Iohannis gained 64%-67% of the vote, with former prime minister Viorica Dancila of those left-leaning PSD carrying 33-36%.
“The winner today is contemporary Romania, European Romania, the ordinary Romania,” Iohannis told reporters in his victory address.
Under a series of PSD authorities, Romania has rolled back anti-corruption steps. Together with ex-communist peers Poland and Hungary, it’s been heavily criticized by Brussels because of its actions.
But, 60-year-old Iohannis was imputed by Western allies and the European Union with attempting to guard the principle of law, particularly by tough efforts to restrict judges’ independence.
The president’s powers are largely limited to nominating a prime minister on the grounds of that can control a majority, challenging legislation in the Constitutional Court, and devoting a few chief prosecutors.
Iohannis will finally have an opportunity to set up anti-corruption and anti-mafia prosecutors that are intent on tackling endemic corruption.
Viorica Dancila’s PSD had raised the burden of evidence in corruption cases, reorganized panels of judges and establish a special unit to explore magistrates for possible abuses, a move widely regarded as a tool of political coercion.
Romania’s judicial reforms are tracked by Brussels because it joined the EU in 2007; in October, Brussels said the reforms were moving backward.
He assisted to secure popular acceptance for a referendum last May that suggested a ban on authorities shifting laws by emergency decree along with also a ban on pardons for corruption-related offenses.