Centre-right party ahead in Romanian election

The centre-right Democratic Liberals LogoBucharest - The centre-right Democratic Liberals (PDL) of Romanian President Traian Basescu held a razor-thin lead in Romania's parliamentary elections, according to latest returns on Monday.

With 71 per cent of Sunday's ballots counted, the PDL were narrowly ahead of the opposition Social Democrats, while Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu's National Liberal Party languished in third place.

Exit polls on election day had initially put the Socialists as the strongest party after voting for both the Senate and the lower chamber of parliament.

Figures released by the Central Electoral Commission on Monday morning gave the PDL 33.39 per cent in the lower house and 34.6 per cent in the Senate.

The Social Democrats collected 32.51 per cent in the lower house and 33.36 per cent in the Senate, while the National Liberal Party trailed with 18.1 per cent in the lower house and 18.18 per cent in the Senate.

Voter turnout was reported at 39.26 per cent, the lowest in Romania since the fall of communism. (dpa)