With Romania’s incumbent president Klaus Iohannis indicated by all the polls so far as the probable winner in the first round of the presidential elections to be held on Sunday, November 10, the main question is now who will join him in the second round, set for November 24.
Three of the other 13 candidates in the race have real chances of making it to the second round, according to polls: former prime minister and Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Viorica Dancila, Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna, and actor Mircea Diaconu, who runs as an independent. Opinion poll results are rather mixed and show that any of the three candidates could qualify into the second round.
Theoretically, Viorica Dancila is the top contender, as she has one of the biggest parties in Romania supporting her. Moreover, PSD hasn’t missed any presidential final in the last 30 years. Iohannis himself would prefer a direct confrontation with Dancila, one that political commentators believe he would win without a great effort due to the strong anti-PSD current.
A direct duel between Iohannis and Dan Barna in the second round would be more complicated and open to any result as their supporter base overlaps as both address mainly the anti-PSD electorate. Barna and Iohannis have avoided direct attacks so far, but this could change if both made it to the final.
Mircea Diaconu could be the surprise contender for Iohannis in the second round if he won enough votes from the PSD camp. His message is directed more towards the traditionalist public. Although some polls credit him with high chances to second place, he himself admits this possibility is rather low.
Romania-Insider.com has compiled brief profiles of the three challengers and their presidential programs:
A brief profile of incumbent president Klaus Iohannis will also be available shortly.
The presidential campaign has so far been a dull one, with no direct confrontation between the top candidates. However, it has also been a rather clean campaign, in which candidates have avoided "dirty" attacks against each other. This documentary created by Recorder.ro reflects the general atmosphere of this year's campaign for the presidential elections.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Ilona Andrei)