Romania’s president says voters punished the opposition Social Democratic Party for “lies, disinformation .. and incompetence” in local elections that he hailed as “a historic victory” for the ruling Liberal Party.
Klaus Iohannis said the result belonged “to Romanian democracy,” in a statement on Monday evening. ”It was a major victory for the right,” he said referring to the center-right Liberals and the centrist Save Romanian Union-PLUS group.
He said the ballot was “a vote against lies, disinformation, stagnation and incompetence taken to the level of state policy, in elections where many Social Democrat barons who thought they were invincible lost.”
Results have been slower than usual to come out due to complications caused by the coronavirus epidemic, but partial results showed the Social Democrats losing mayoral seats in traditional strongholds in Constanta, Iasi, Bacau Giurgiu and Piatra Neamt.
The only big city they managed to claim was Craiova, the largest city in the south. The party did better in smaller towns and villages especially in some southern and eastern areas.
It also won 20 county councils, to the Liberals 17. The party that represents the interests of ethnic Hungarians, the UDMR, won four county councils in the Transylvania region where most ethnic Hungarians live.
With general elections a little over two months away Mr. Iohannis „encouraged democratic parties to continue the dialogue, to offer Romanians confidence in a team and a solid, responsible government, which offers solutions for Romania to develop.”
“This is a … political victory in which the Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union have become forces to change things for the better, and the Social Democrats will go into opposition with one of the weakest performances.”
He said turnout of 46% nationwide and just 37% in Bucharest was good taking into consideration the pandemic which led to many staying away from the polls.
“For Romania to modernize, the Social Democrat era has to end for once and all,” he said calling the outcome a victory for this stage. Mr Iohannis was chairman of the Liberal Party before he was elected president.
“It’s a historic score for the Liberals… for the Save Romania Union-PLUS, it’s a very good score. Congratulations.”