Romania's prime minister launches his campaign for the presidency

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Romania's prime minister has launched his campaign for the presidency, the country's top political office, promising a more united country than his predecessor has achieved.

Victor Ponda, who has been prime minister since May 2012, will be a top candidate in the Nov. 2 presidential election.

"Romania needs ... economic growth and jobs, more investment," he said in a nationally televised speech at a congress held by his center-left Social Democratic Party. "Romania needs unity."

Ponda hopes to replace President Traian Basescu who will step down after a maximum 10 years in office.

As Romania's leader, Basescu took strong stands on issues such as corruption, but he was not seen as a consensus builder. In 2012 he narrowly survived a referendum calling for his impeachment.