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BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Incumbent President Traian Basescu won the first round of Romania's presidential election on Sunday, and will face leftist leader Mircea Geoana in a December 6 runoff, exit polls showed.
Surveys by pollsters INSOMAR and CURS showed Basescu garnering 33-34 percent of the vote with Geoana closely behind with 31-32 percent.
The election is vital to solving a government crisis that has delayed aid from the International Monetary Fund and reviving stalled economic and political reforms in the Balkan state of 22 million.
Whoever wins the election will play a pivotal role by nominating a new prime minister to replace the centre-left coalition government that collapsed in October.