PSD, PNL won local and EP elections. Tensions at polling stations

USR protests in support for its candidates in Bucharest's districts 1 and 2, denounces frauds.

PSD and PNL are the winners of the 2024 local elections, according to the partial results published by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC). PSD obtained over 39% of the mayoral mandates, and PNL over 33%. In terms of local councils, the social democrats obtained over 37% of the votes and the liberals over 30%.

At the same time, the PSD – PNL electoral alliance obtained 48.65% of the votes cast in the 2024 European Parliament elections, the AUR Alliance – 14.95%, and the United Right Alliance – 8.64%, according to the provisional data sent on Tuesday by the Central Electoral Office.

On Tuesday afternoon, the transport of electoral materials from the polling stations to the county Electoral Bureaus was suspended in several areas of the country, and the employees of the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs remained to ensure the security of the polling stations. The decision to suspend was taken due to the fatigue of the members of the electoral offices and to avoid situations in which some of them end up in the hospital.

The president of the Central Electoral Bureau, Vasile Bîcu, and the president of the Permanent Electoral Authority, Toni Greblă, sent a circular regarding the suspension of the electoral process, specifying that it is an exceptional procedure, not foreseen by the legislation. According to the two, upon the resumption of operations, the process must continue uninterrupted until completion.

“We specify that the suspension of the activity of handing over the materials resulting from the electoral process and the activity of centralizing the results constitutes an exceptional procedure, not foreseen by the electoral legislation. Thus, if these activities have already been suspended at the level of some constituencies during the day of 10.06.2024, we ask that, upon the resumption of operations, you carry out the activity without interruption until the end of the procedures for centralizing the results”, the president of the Bureau sent them Central Electoral, Vasile Bîcu, and the president of the Permanent Electoral Authority, Toni Greblă, to the presidents of the County Electoral Offices and the Electoral Office of the Circumscription No. 42 – Bucharest Municipality.

On Monday evening, the electoral process was suspended in 22 counties, due to fatigue, the large volume of votes that remained to be taken and due to the heat wave.

According to the latest data centralized by BEC, PSD obtained the most votes for the position of mayor, at the level of the entire country – 40.30%. In second place is the PNL, with 33.8%. AUR ranks a distant third with 5.87% of the vote, followed by UDMR with 5.25 of the vote. 3.17% of Romanians voted for mayors of the United Right Alliance, and 2.16% for independent candidates.

Regarding local councils, PSD is also in first place, with 37.57% of the votes, followed by PNL, with 30.35% of the votes. AUR scored 8.97% and UDMR 6.19%. The United Right Alliance has 3.20%.

USR’s Clotilde Armand, Radu Mihaiu accuse PSD of fraud

Meanwhile, tensions lingered at the District 1 and 2 in Bucharest.

The mayor of Sector 2, Radu Mihaiu, filed a criminal complaint against the PSD representative from the sector electoral office, whom he accuses of inciting electoral fraud. The United Right Alliance (USR+PMP+ Forta Dreptei) candidate says there are documented suspicions that more than 2,000 votes were rigged.

However, the District 2 Electoral Office rejected his request to recount the votes. According to Mihaiu, BES decided not to recount the votes at Section 352, on the grounds that there is no legal basis and “it is not clear why the recount was requested”.

From 1:00 p.m., in front of the District Electoral Office, there was a USR protest in support of Mihaiu, in which mayors Elena Lascoi and Lucian Viziteu also participate. And District 1 Mayor Clotilde Armand continues to allege fraud at many polling stations, saying 1,000 votes have gone missing and that she is filing criminal complaints.

Armand and Mihaiu are a few hundred votes behind his opponents from PSD-PNL, George Tuță and Rareș Hopincă.

At the same time, there was also a counter-protest staged by PSD at the District 2 Electoral Office.

The Social Democratic Party reacted on Wednesday after the mayors of sectors 1 and 2, Clotilde Armand and Radu Mihaiu, accused the party of electoral fraud, stating that when the votes were counted in the polling stations, the USR representatives had nothing to object about of the valid votes cast for the candidates for the sector mayors.

The representatives of the Social Democratic Party believe that USR “lost the right to challenge the election results” when their representatives confirmed by signature the correctness of the data recorded in the minutes.

On Wednesday morning, Clotilde Armand also accused PNL and PSD, the two parties that support her opponent, George Tuţă, with whom she is contesting her victory at the District 1 City Hall, of electoral fraud. The ADU candidate claims that a thousand ballot papers from a polling station “evaporated”.

Clotilde Armand complains about an irregularity found in a report from Voting Section no. 29, at the St. Lazarus Social Center.

“Another 1,000 votes have disappeared. From the PNL PSD pen. We start the day with a new proof of fraud by PSD and PNL. Over 1,000 ballot papers, in white, from Polling Station no. 29, at the St. Lazarus Social Center, have evaporated. PSD-PNL brand magic number! Let’s recap the situation here, according to the minutes, a total number of 2,220 ballots were received, of which 885 votes were validly cast. A total of 24 votes were invalid and 290 ballots were unused and cancelled. Where are 1021 ballots? In which ballot box were they deposited?”, wrote Clotilde Armand in a post on Facebook.
The ADU candidate for the District 1 City Hall also stated that she is waiting for the recount of all polling stations, stating that “it is unreal for a democracy to be able to function through fraud”. In conclusion, Armand sent a message to the PSD leader, Marcel Ciolacu: “Marcel,.. I told you that you are not good at math. And math doesn’t lie.”
Clotilde Armand complained on Tuesday that the elections in District 1 were “deeply flawed” and called for a recount. She wanted to file a criminal complaint at the ICCJ against Toni Greblă, the president of the Permanent Electoral Authority, but she could not because the program with the public had ended. Later, Armand published another report on Facebook that would show she was robbed at the count. The Mayor of District 1 claims that the votes from several polling stations must be recounted, as the way the results were validated is not in accordance with the reality in the stations.
Armand’s opponent George Tuţă, supported by PSD-PNL, says that he is the winner of the elections.
According to resultsvot.ro, which displays unofficial partial results, George Tuţă has so far registered 36.53% of the votes, and Clotilde Armand has a score of 35.85%, according to news.ro. The turnout at the local elections in Sector 1 was 46.31%.
ADUBECclotilde armandep electionsfraudlocal electionspnlprotestpsdRadu MihaiuUSR
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