BUCHAREST, Romania - The Constitutional Court yesterday declared Traian Basescu the winner of Romania's disputed presidential election.
The court ruled that Basescu had won a second term as president after days of uncertainty following a vote that the opposition alleged was rigged.
The court said that Basescu had won the most votes in the Dec. 6 runoff. Election authorities finished reexamining 138,000 voided ballots yesterday and decided the outcome of the election was not changed.
Basescu won 50.33 percent of the vote to defeat former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana, who won 49.67 percent.
Geoana conceded defeat and wished Basescu good luck with his new five-year mandate.
However, he continued to insist that the elections had been rigged and that the court had ignored "extremely clear evidence."
Geoana's Social Democrats filed a motion to the court last week alleging fraud. They said they had evidence of ballot-stuffing, multiple voting, and widespread vote-buying, and asked for new elections.
"The fight for the presidency ends here," Geoana said, "but the fight for finding the truth in these elections continues."
Yesterday's decision is expected to bring some stability to Romania, which has been without a proper government since Oct. 13 when the government was dismissed by Parliament in a no-confidence vote.
Romania's president appoints the prime minister, who in turn will form the new government and set a budget.
Amid the uncertainty, a delegation from the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission arrived in Romania yesterday to discuss freeing up a $2.2 billion installment of a loan that has been frozen amid the political crisis. The money would be released after a new cabinet has been formed and has set out its program.