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Court denies Romania election challenge

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BUCHAREST, Romania, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A Romanian court Monday rejected a bid by opposition Social Democrats to void the re-election victory of President Traian Basescu, state media said.

The official Agerpres news agency reported the Romanian Constitutional Court ruled against the Social Democrats and their presidential candidate Mircea Geoana, who were seeking to annul the results of a second-round runoff giving Basescu a razor-thin margin of victory, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

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Basescu defeated Geoana by 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent in a Dec. 6 vote that Geoana claimed was marked by electoral fraud.

Xinhua said the court ruling came hours after Romania's Central Electoral Bureau finalized a recount of votes that were declared void in the run-off, which it said did not reverse the original outcome. The bureau said after the recount, Basescu garnered 70,000 more votes than Geoana.

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