World

Thousands protest voting difficulties for Romanians abroad a week before presidential runoff

  • A man holds the Romanian flag and shouts slogans next to a gendarme negotiator during a rally in support of fellow citizens living abroad, in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. According to local media, about 500 protesters took to the streets, in Bucharest, in support of fellow citizens living abroad and to protest against Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta. After the first round of the presidential elections, angry protests broke out in London and Paris after Romanians said they were unable to vote there, despite waiting in line for hours. Voters also complained of being unable to vote in Munich and Vienna. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT

    A man holds the Romanian flag and shouts slogans next to a gendarme negotiator during a rally in support of fellow citizens living abroad, in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. According to local media, about 500 protesters took to the streets, in Bucharest, in support of fellow citizens living abroad and to protest against Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta. After the first round of the presidential elections, angry protests broke out in London and Paris after Romanians said they were unable to vote there, despite waiting in line for hours. Voters also complained of being unable to vote in Munich and Vienna. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman wearing a T-shirt which reads: "I want a country like outside", attends a rally with others in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. About 500 people took to the street in support of their fellow citizens, living abroad, who couldn't vote for the first round of the presidential elections and blamed Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta, local report said. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT

    A woman wearing a T-shirt which reads: "I want a country like outside", attends a rally with others in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. About 500 people took to the street in support of their fellow citizens, living abroad, who couldn't vote for the first round of the presidential elections and blamed Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta, local report said. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask joins a rally with others in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. About 500 people took to the street in support of their fellow citizens, living abroad, who couldn't vote for the first round of the presidential elections and blamed Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta, local report said. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT

    A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask joins a rally with others in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. About 500 people took to the street in support of their fellow citizens, living abroad, who couldn't vote for the first round of the presidential elections and blamed Romanian Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party (PSD), Victor Ponta, local report said. An election runoff will be held on Nov. 16., to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years in office. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people have protested against the government saying it was making it difficult for Romanians abroad to vote, a week before a presidential runoff.

Romanians in Paris, London, Vienna and elsewhere have said they were unable to vote in the Nov. 2 first round of the presidential race because of long lines.

In response, the government said Friday it would open more polling booths, and other measures to speed up the process, but protesters said it wasn't enough.

About 5,000 people gathered in Cluj, and hundreds turned out in Bucharest, Constanta and other cities late Saturday shouting "Get out and vote!"

Prime Minister Victor Ponta faces Sibiu Mayor Klaus Iohannis in the Nov. 16 runoff, which Ponta is favored to win. Around 2 million Romanians live abroad.