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Romanian exit polls show center-left wins vote

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s center-left government won a clear victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, according to exit polls. The result could inflame the personal rivalry between the nation’s top two officials and bring more political upheaval.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s governing alliance had about 57 percent of the seats in the 452-seat legislature, according to a poll published after elections on national television TVR.

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Coming in second was a center-right group, allied to President Traian Basescu, which polled more than 18 percent. First official results are expected Monday.

Basescu and Ponta are bitter rivals after the government tried to remove Basescu from office in an impeachment vote in July, a bid that failed as too few people voted to make the election valid.

Basescu has indicated he will not appoint Ponta again, calling him a ‘‘compulsive liar’’ and saying he plagiarized his doctoral thesis. Ponta says Basescu is a divisive figure who overstepped his role as president by meddling in government business.

‘‘We won a clear majority, a majority recognized by our adversaries who have to accept the rules of democracy,’’ Ponta said after the vote.

Ponta became prime minister in May, the third prime minister this year, but his appointment brought a bitter battle with Basescu, whose mandate expires in 2014.

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