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EX-COMMUNIST SEEMS ON WAY TO A RUNOFF VOTE IN ROMANIA

SHARE EX-COMMUNIST SEEMS ON WAY TO A RUNOFF VOTE IN ROMANIA

A former Communist appeared headed toward a runoff for the presidency according to preliminary election results released Monday that also showed the governing party losing control of parliament.

If early results hold, Sunday's ballot would give the opposition a share of power for the first time since communism was overthrown in 1989 - and the chance to form a government with other minority parties.With about 20 percent of returns counted, President Ion Iliescu had 32 percent to 28.5 percent for his main challenger, Democratic Convention leader Emil Constantinescu. Former Premier Petre Roman was running third at 21 percent.

If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held Nov. 17.