As we have reported, the first round of the presidential election was held in Romania on Sunday, where only two out of the fourteen candidates advanced to the possible second half. Ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party leader Hunor Kelemen was also among the contenders; however, he did not proceed to the next round. During the fight for votes, opposition liberal party Momentum stood behind Dan Barna, a Romanian politician who was introduced by the USR-PLUS Liberal Party Alliance, who did not advance to the second half either.
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis won 37.6% of the votes in the first round, while runner-up Viorica Dancila, the social-democratic ex-prime minister, won 22.7% of the vote, and proceeded to the second round of the presidential election, which will be held on November 24th.
Neither the RMDSZ candidate Hunor Kelemen nor Hungarian liberal party Momentum-backed Dan Barna made it through the first round. Barna finished third in the standings, with 14.7%, while Kelemen, president of the RMDSZ, received around 4% of the valid votes according to Monday morning’s vote count. Just like the others, his outcome may still be slightly affected by the votes cast abroad.
Hunor Kelemen said he managed to get more votes than in the last ten years, that is, in the 2009 and 2014 elections. He added that “ever since the parliamentary election has been held separately from the presidential election, this is a good result. We expect the absolute number to be between 390 and 400,000 votes.”
He thanked the Hungarians who voted for him in the first round and also the Romanian people who “heard the message of respect and trust.” He added that he is proud of the result, which is not “my result, but our community’s. The voice of a strong community is something I would like to thank.”
Momentum President’s Support of Romanian Politician Draws Heated Debate
Momentum President András Fekete-Győr reacted in a post on his official Facebook page to the results of the presidential elections in Romania. He congratulated Hunor Kelemen and RMDSZ for the 4% they had achieved in the Romanian presidential election, emphasizing:
This is a nice and good result!”
Fekete-Győr added that he is disappointed that Viorica Dancila finished second but celebrated Dan Barna’s third place as “a fresh, new face is a commendable achievement anyway.” He believes that
everything is still given that our ally, Alianța USR PLUS, which has dozens of Hungarian politicians in it, will become Romania’s governing party next year, and finally the minority rights of Hungarians in Transylvania will be guaranteed for real!”
The next round of the Romanian presidential elections will be held on November 24th, with Klaus Iohannis and Viorica Dancila running for the position.
featured photo: Hunor Kelemen, RMDSZ (Gábor Kiss/MTI)