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Social Democrats garner a relative majority of the votes; runoff of presidential election on December 12

Exit polls show the ruling Social Democratic party in the lead in parliamentary elections but failing to gain a majority that would allow it to form a government by itself.

In Sunday's presidential vote, exit polls showed Social Democratic candidate, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase taking more than 41 percent of the vote against at least 35 percent for Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu. The runoff of the election will take place December 12.

In the parliament vote, two exit polls showed the Social Democrats and their allies the Romanian Humanists garnering up to 40 percent of the vote against about 35 percent for the centrist Justice and Truth Alliance, comprising the National Liberals and the Democrats. Concerns about potential fraud have been raised by the opposition and non-govermental organizations. Partial official results are expected on Monday.

The new Romanian government will have the task of steering the country towards a target date for EU membership in 2007 by pushing through reforms aimed at reducing corruption and poverty.