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Dec 11, 1:23 AM EST

Romanians voting in election overshadowed by graft

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AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Romanians have begun voting in a parliamentary election a year after a massive anti-corruption drive forced the last Socialist prime minister from power.

The country of about 19 million is one of the poorest in the European Union and perceived as one of the most corrupt.

Romania's biggest party, the Social Democratic Party, is expected to come first and will likely try to form a majority with smaller parties.

Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned after mass protests following a nightclub fire in October last year that killed 64 people.

The country is currently run by a government of technocrats headed by Premier Dacian Ciolos, a former EU commissioner.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Sunday and will close at 9 p.m., followed by exit polls.

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