Police were called to London’s Romanian Embassy as hundreds of ex-pats were locked out after queueing for hours to vote in a crunch presidential poll.
Romanian nationals spent up to six hours queuing outside the embassy in Belgrave Square but more than 1,200 had still not cast their vote when the embassy closed its doors at 9pm.
A police helicopter was sent to monitor the chanting crowd from above as officers were deployed amid concerns of possible public disorder in the exclusive square.
Corina Nastase, 28, a fashion stylist from Chigwell, said: “We were so angry. People had been queuing for hours. I got here at 5pm and at 9pm they just closed the doors.
Voters said the Embassy was not prepared for the large numbers of people who turned up Picture: Nigel Howard
“They don’t have enough materials and they weren’t prepared for people to come to vote.
“We had the right to vote and we couldn’t exercise our right. We can’t vote by post so we had to come here.”
Raluca Costache, a massage therapist from Brixton, said: “I left the country because of the prime minister and now I can’t vote against him becoming president. Most people outside Romania will vote against him. We want to change the situation in Romania and then go back there.”
Prime Minister Victor Ponta led the first round of the poll in a step towards a victory that would consolidate his leftist Social Democrat party’s hold on power.
Early esults showed Ponta, a former prosecutor and amateur rally driver who became the European Union’s youngest prime minister two years ago, ahead of his nearest challenger, an ethnic German mayor backed by two centre-right parties.
The two will almost certainly compete in a run-off on November 16.
Hundreds of Romanians locked outside London Embassy ‘denied their right to vote’