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President Klaus Iohannis hopes to win a new mandate to strengthen the rule of law

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Voters in Romania went to the polls on Sunday to decide a presidential election expected to lead to the re-election of centrist President Klaus Iohannis, who has vowed to resume judicial reforms slowed under successive Social Democrat-led governments.

There have been no recent polls, but there is speculation that Johannes will beat his rival, former Social Democratic Party leader Fiorica Dancela.

Western allies and the European Union praised Biohannes, 60, for trying to protect the rule of law and, in particular, for defending the independence of judges.

In Romania, the president selects the prime minister, who has executive powers, after consultations with political parties. The president can also veto laws passed by parliament by challenging them before the Constitutional Court or returning them to parliament for consideration and can also appoint some chief prosecutors.

If Klaus Iohannis wins a new term, he will have the opportunity to appoint prosecutors to tackle rampant corruption in the country, backed by a liberal minority government led by Prime Minister Ludovic Urban, an ally of the president who won a vote of confidence in parliament three weeks ago.

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