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Romania holds local elections amid epidemic

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-28 10:03

Independent candidate Nicusor Dan votes at a polling station in Bucharest, Romania, Sept 27, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

BUCHAREST - Romania held local elections amid the epidemic on Sunday and the exit poll released soon after voting showed that center-right candidates might become the winners of the elections, gaining the posts of mayor of many important cities in the country including the capital.

Independent candidate Nicusor Dan, supported by a center-right coalition made of the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) and the alliance between Save Romania Union (USR) and the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) (USR-PLUS Alliance), won 47.2 percent of the votes in the race for the Capital's General Mayor office, beating incumbent Mayor Gabriela Firea, vice-chair of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), who got 39 percent, according to a main exit poll made by CURS-Avangarde.

The candidates supported by the center-right coalition also won three of the six posts of district major in the capital city of Bucharest, showed the same exit poll.

"I am confident that after the vote counting I will be the Capital's mayor," Dan, a mathematician and former civil society activist, said in a press statement after the announcement of the exit polls results.

"In the morning we will know exactly what the real result of the elections is ... any figure that is announced tonight, results of some polls ... doesn't mean that there already are winners or losers tonight," said the current general major in her turn.

Prime Minister and PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban gave assurances that the government would support the projects of the new administration of Bucharest, such as the green ring road of the capital or the rehabilitation of the heritage buildings.

The exit poll showed that the PSD obtained 33.7 percent of the votes in the local elections for the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest, the USR-PLUS Alliance won 33.1 percent, and the ruling PNL was credited with 17.3 percent.

Over 18 million voters were expected at the polls to elect their mayors, county council presidents, as well as those who will be part, for next four years, of the local and county councils.

Romanian mayors are elected under a simple majority system.

The local elections initially planned for June 2020 were postponed due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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