Protesters demand vote recount in Bucharest district election

Protesters demand vote recount in Bucharest district election
By bne IntelliNews June 12, 2016

Around 500 people rallied in Romania’s capital Bucharest on June 11 asking for a recount of the votes for the district 1 mayor post where the candidate of the newly-formed Save Bucharest Association (USB) came second in the election after exit polls showed her as the winner.

The Bucharest district 1 mayor post was won by the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Daniel Tudorache, with 31.07% backing. Clotilde Armand, USB’s candidate, gained 28.77% of the votes. USB has asked for a recount of the votes in 18 polling stations in the district, where statistical anomalies have been spotted, a request which was rejected by the district electoral bureau.

The rally, which was organized by Armand’s supporters on Facebook, was also attended by the USB candidate.

“We are here for democracy, for transparency and for a correct electoral process. And we are here for the long term,” she told reporters.

According to USB leader, Nicusor Dan, who came second in the race for the Bucharest mayor post, the higher the number of annulled votes in the stations where they asked for a recount, the lower the number of votes for Armand, has reported.

USB has filed a new appeal related to the vote on June 5. USB claims that the vote should be representative and a mayor who has been elected by only 10% of the people on the voting lists cannot be representative. The turnout in the Bucharest elections was 33.09%, below the 48.27% national average.

“In my situation, of a candidate who came second, I have the possibility to invoke this exception [of unconstitutionality] so that the next elections should be organised in two rounds, so that they are representative. We want representativeness. What I am doing now will have no impact on the current elections, [but] will have an impact in the future,” Armand said.

Armand was born in France, but married a Romanian mathematician, a colleague of Dan, the USD candidate for Bucharest city hall. Armand studied at MIT in the USA and Ecole Centrale Paris and she is currently a manager at Egis Romania.

Meanwhile, the central electoral bureau published the final results of the June 5 elections, confirming Romania’s largest political party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), as winner.

PSD won most of the mayoral, local and county council posts. The victory suggests PSD is likely to win the general elections which will be organized this autumn and form the new government.

USB has emerged as a possible new political force in Romania following the local elections. Dan managed to grab 30.52% of the votes in the Bucharest mayor election, performing better than the candidate of Romania’s second largest party, the National Liberal Party, who came third.

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