Romanian Foreign Minister Resigns in Election Row

Romanian Foreign Minister Resigns in Election Row

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu resigned on Tuesday after many Romanians abroad could not vote in Sunday’s presidential election run-off, triggering protests across the European Union state.

Corlatean, who was told by leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta to ensure the Nov. 16 runoff vote runs smoothly or risk losing his job, said on Saturday there would be more voting booths abroad but no increase in the number of polling stations.

Ponta won the first round of the election by a 10 percentage point margin over Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German mayor backed by two centre-right opposition parties. Ponta is likely to win the runoff vote, opinion polls showed.

Romanians living in other European Union states and other countries who planned to vote at their embassies complained of long queues, while some polling stations ran out of a form that must be signed before a ballot could be cast.

The Romanian Embassy in Paris called in French police as tempers flared.

“I cannot give reasons for contesting the outcome of the presidential election runoff on grounds of noncompliance with the law, abroad,” Corlatean told a news briefing. “I can’t break the law.

“The Foreign Ministry fully keeps its stance that there’s no legal basis to up the number of polling stations abroad.”

Read more at Reuters