Incumbent President Traian Basescu won the Romanian presidential runoff, as the near final tally of votes showed Monday, in an election Romanians hope will pull the country out of its worst political and economic crisis in 20 years.
With 95.7 percent of the vote counted, election authorities said centrist Basescu polled 50.43 percent of the vote, while former foreign minister Mircea Geoana received 49.57 percent.
Both Basescu and Geoana claimed victory late Sunday after polls closed. Three exit polls gave Geoana, a Socialist, a slight lead.
Geoana, a leader of the Social Democrats who has branded himself a unifier and team builder, declared himself the winner Sunday, calling exit poll results "a victory for normalcy, a victory for decency, for all citizens who want a better life."