Romania’s minority Liberal government has won most seats nationwide in a boost ahead of general elections in December.
Civic activist and mathematician Nicusor Dan ousted the Social Democrat incumbent Gabriela Firea in Sunday’s ballot, promising to fight corruption and attract European Union funds to upgrade the chaotic and congested city of 2.3 million.
Near final results published Monday gave him 42.77% of the votes, with Ms Firea trailing on 37.95%. Former President Traian Basescu won 11%.
Elsewhere, voters dislodged longtime mayors from the central city of Brasov, while Dominic Fritz, a German citizen running for the centrist Save Romania Union-PLUS won the race in Timisoara, the city where the 1989 revolution began.
French-Romanian politician Clothilde Armand won the coveted first district seat in Bucharest to oust the incumbent Social Democrat.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called it “a historic vote.”
The ruling Liberal Party said it won more local mandates than the opposition Social Democrats for the first time in three decades.
The Social Democrats hung on to seats in the southern city of Craiova and other places in the south, their traditional stronghold and also won seats in the poorer eastern regions.
Daniel Brett who teaches political science at London’s University College told universul. net there were „some significant set backs for the PSD not just in Bucharest, but some local barons who had been in power for almost 20 years also lost,” he said.
However, he added that rhe electoral map „remains much the same with the PSD dominating in the south and east, while PNL and their allies are stronger in Transylvania and the areas around Bucharest.”
The Liberals lead in polls before the general election on Dec. 6, where they need to secure a majority to govern more effectively during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Democrats, which together with their allies control Parliament, are hoping to win votes with a 40% hike in pensions, which the government says it can’t afford.
It will widen the budget gap of to 8.3%.