Romania’s Iohannis hopes for new presidential term to boost rule of law

A combination picture shows Romanian incumbent candidate Klaus Iohannis (L) and former Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Viorica Dancila as they speak to the media in Bucharest, November 19, 2019. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea, Inquam Photos/George Calin via REUTERS

Romanians went to the polls on Sunday for a presidential election runoff expected to re-elect centrist president Klaus Iohannis, who has pledged to restart a judicial reform slowed down by successive Social Democrat (PSD) governments.

While there have been no recent opinion polls, local bookmakers make Iohannis the short-odds favourite to beat former PSD prime minister Viorica Dancila comfortably in Sunday’s runoff.

Under a succession of PSD governments, Romania rolled back anti-corruption measures and weakened the independence of the courts. Along with ex-communist peers Poland and Hungary, it has been heavily criticised by Brussels for its actions.