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July 29, 2014 AT 11:12 AM
Romania's ruling leftist alliance endorsed Prime Minister Victor Ponta's candidacy in a Nov. 2 presidential election on Tuesday, with opinion polls showing him leading but not by enough to avoid a runoff ballot. 41 year old Ponta, the leader of the leftist Social Democrat Party, came to power in May 2012 in an alliance with the Liberal Party, toppling a center-right government that undertook painful wage cuts and tax hikes at the height of the financial crisis. His liberal allies split from the coalition earlier this year to support their own presidential candidate.