Resurgent Romanian left falls short of majority

Resurgent Romanian left falls short of majority

Bucharest (AFP) - Romania's Social Democrats have fallen short of a parliamentary majority despite a resounding weekend election win that saw them bounce back after being booted from power a year ago, final results showed Thursday.

The development comes as the corruption-tainted Social Democrats (PSD), who were driven from office by public anger over a deadly nightclub fire, remain in a standoff with the president who appears reluctant to appoint party leader Liviu Dragnea as prime minister.

President Klaus Iohannis is set to hold consultations with parties over who to appoint as premier.

He reiterated his refusal Tuesday to appoint a leader with legal problems -- an apparent swipe at Dragnea, who is serving a suspended jail sentence for electoral fraud which in theory bars him from office.

The PSD won 221 out of 465 parliamentary seats in Sunday's vote -- 12 short of an absolute majority, according to the results released by the electoral commission.

They could win backing from their traditional ally the ALDE, a small centre-right party with 29 seats.

Trailing the PSD are two centre-right groupings, the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union, with 99 and 43 seats respectively.

The new parliament will be sworn in on December 19 at the earliest.