Friday, May 30, 2008

Romania Prepares for Local Elections

29 May 2008
Bucharest _ Romania is set to hold local elections on Sunday in what has been a very quiet electoral campaign.

Nevertheless Sunday’s local elections will be the first time Romanians have voted directly for a representative, rather than their preferred political party, which would otherwise select representatives based on prepared lists.

Mayors have been elected like this up to now but the presidents of the County Councils were previously chosen by members of the councils and not always according to the votes gathered by the parties.

So in some cases, the political colour of the County Council president was not representative of the majority of the people’s choice.

The electoral campaign has also been seemingly quiet while President Traian Basescu previously denounced the campaign as fake, arguing rival candidates were not holding debates with each other because of backroom power-sharing deals. Read more:

Most candidates have concentrated their political speeches on the fight against corruption, while others have been giving away food and money to elderly voters in Romania’s poor rural areas.

One candidate even distributed mobile phones.

In Bucharest, though, there was a surprise as the few polls in this campaign revealed that an independent candidate would win.

Romania last held elections in November 2007 for choosing the representatives to the European Parliament.

Only a quarter of registered Romanian voters actually cast their ballots then.

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