Iohannis wins election, Kelemen asks for more respect for Hungarians

With reelection worries out of the way, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis should be able to focus more on the future, RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen said after the incumbent president won a second term in office with a large majority of votes in the election held on Sunday.

“I congratulate Klaus Iohannis! We hope that the next five years of his presidency will bring about a change compared to the previous five years,” Kelemen said in response to the exit poll results. “Since he doesn’t have to worry about reelection, he can increasingly turn towards the future and the citizens, and the Hungarian community can (also) get more respect.”

Iohannis, of the liberal PNL party, beat former Social-Democrat Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă by two thirds according to two different exit polls, one of which put the result at 66.5 to 33.5 percent, while the other showed 64.8 to 34.2 percent.

This was also the poorest showing of any leftist presidential candidate since a pluralist democracy was restored in Romania in 1990.

“I take this result with joy, gratitude, modesty, and faith in Romania. I promise to be the president of all Romanians, both those who voted for me and those who didn’t. And I hope the latter will cast their vote next time,” Iohannis said, adding that there is “much to do and improve” in order to create a “European, normal Romania.”

Perhaps just as interestingly, the Romanian diaspora showed up in unexpectedly large numbers around the world and, according to two exit polls conducted abroad, the overwhelming majority voted for Iohannis, who has again been running on a strong anti-graft ticket. In Auckland, New Zealand, Iohannis is projected to win 89.19 percent of the votes, while in Sydney, Australia, he came in at 92.54 percent.

Romanian presidents are elected for five-year terms.

Title image: Hunor Kelemen voting in the second round of the Romanian presidential elections on November 24, 2019 (source: Hunor Kelemen’s Facebook page)

Author: Dénes Albert