In spite of a different result in the local elections as compared with the one of 2016, both power and opposition claim victory.
In Romania, both the Liberals in power and the Social Democrats in the opposition say they won Sunday’s local elections. Why is that? Having secured the electorate’s support in last year’s European and presidential elections and having taken over power following a censure motion at end-2019, the National Liberal Party made it clear its goal is to win both local and parliamentary elections this year. The Liberals managed to snatch important mayor and county council president seats from the Social Democrats and win over 30% of the votes in the recent local elections, a historic result for the party in the last 30 years. President Klaus Iohannis hailed the landslide victory of the right wing and the fact that PNL has become the biggest party in Romania. Iohannis also congratulated URS-PLUS, a young alliance whose electorate, unhappy with the performance of traditional parties, went to the polls in large numbers, thus securing for the alliance the mayor seat in important cities such as Timisoara, Brasov or Bacau.
Klaus Iohannis: ”Romanians have voted for a new path, of decency, respect for the citizen and for democracy. People want their communities to be headed by competent leaders, who keep their promises and take responsibility for their actions no matter how difficult this is, or which the circumstances are. Public local administration must be rebuilt on a series of fundamental pillars, such as transparency, integrity and professionalism, all serving an essential principle: the public interest.”
On the other hand, the Social Democratic Party has received some heavy blows in the elections and losing the seat of Bucharest mayor is just one of them. However, figures are not that bad: 20 county councils out of the total 41 and almost 1,500 mayor seats out of some 3,200. Still, what makes PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu claim his party’s victory?
Marcel Ciolacu: “We continue to be the biggest party in Romania. The process of internal reconstruction has borne fruit. The Social Democratic Party must open. People who spent too much time in certain public positions, whether from PSD or PNL, have been punished by the Romanians. Romanians are always right!”
Things will calm down and every party will have to prove its importance on the political scene at the parliamentary elections on December 6. (translated by Elena Enache)