November 22 (SeeNews) - Incumbent Traian Basescu led Mircea Geoana with a slim margin in the first round of Romania's presidential elections on Sunday but remained short of the 50% majority needed for an outright win, an exit poll indicated.
Basecu has won 34.1% of the vote, while Social Democrat leader Geoana got 30.9% support, an exit poll conducted by local Sociologic Research and Branding Company (CCSB) showed.
The leader of the National Liberal Party, Crin Antonescu, came third with 22.1% of the vote.
The results of the exit poll mean Basescu will face Geoana in a run-off vote on December 6, an outcome widely expected by analysts.
The Central Electoral Bureau said that voter turnout was 49.97% by 7 p.m local time (1700 GMT), two hours before polls closed.
Romanians were choosing among 12 candidates for president on Sunday. Voting started at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and lasted until 9 p.m. (1900 GMT). Some 18.3 million voters were eligible to cast their ballots.
On Sunday Romanians also voted in a referendum on Basescu's proposal to transform the bicameral parliament into a single chamber and cut the number of legislators to 300 from current 471.