More than 18 million Romanians will be able to go to the polls for a presidential election on 2 November to choose the successor of Traian Băsescu, who has completed two terms.

The campaign has been marked by several corruption investigations, most of them concerning the Social Democratic Party of candidate Victor Ponta.

The importance of the election goes beyond the next resident of the Cotroceni Palace, notes România liberă, which says the vote will determine the country’s future orientation, as Ponta and his primary rival, the liberal Klaus Iohannis, have two very different visions: if Ponta “has his eye turned towards China, Iohannis leans much more towards the United States”.

The most recent polls predict 40 per cent of the vote will go to Ponta and 29 per cent to Iohannis. If neither candidate obtains an absolute majority, a runoff vote will be held on 16 November.