Geoana's joy on the evening of election day was proven short-lived.
Romanian incumbent president Traian Basescu won a second term in office on December 6, narrowly defeating Mircea Geoana in a run-off, the elections authority said on December 7.
Basescu won 50.3 per cent, with 99.95 per cent of the votes counted, the central electoral bureau said. Turnout was 58 per cent, with 10.5 million valid ballots registered and 138 400 votes declared void.
Basescu won by a slim margin of 70 000 votes, the winning edge coming from voters outside Romania. The incumbent received 115 800 votes from 294 voting regions outside Romania, compared to Geoana's 31 000 votes.
The final results were a dramatic turnaround from the previous night, when initial exit polls gave Geoana a slim margin over Basescu.
Geoana's Social Democrats refused to concede defeat, saying that they would challenge the results in court.
"Starting with exit polls, the high number of void ballots, modified voting protocols and massive electoral tourism, all these factors compel us to challenge the results. It is a democratic obligation to the five million Romanians whose vote is about to be defrauded," Liviu Dragnea, Social Democrat secretary general, said on December 7.