Few hundreds of Bucharest citizens went out on the street on Saturday to demand the recount of the votes for the District 1 of the Capital, being unsatisfied that PSD representative won in front of Save Bucharest Union’s (USB) candidate, Clotilde Armand. District 1 Electoral Bureau rejected the recount of the votes requested by the USB candidate. The decision was in turn appealed at the District Court and at the Central Electoral Bureau.
Writer Gabriel Liiceanu was also among the participants, saying that it’s his first protest since June 1990: “Fraud of the vote is for me the most serious attack on democracy, because it undermines its foundations and we, the voters, become fools who are distributed in a political masquerade. The idea that they choose alone between them by using us in this scenario seems to me intolerable. BEC should decide to recheck the votes or to retake the voting process”.
The participants to the protest in University Square requested that the fraud suspicion should be excluded by recounting the votes.
The protest was held under the slogan “Corruption kills”, the same one which brought hundreds of thousands of Romanians in the street at the end of last year.
The opinion of the people in the University Square was unanimous: votes from the polling stations where USB didn’t have representatives should be recounted.
“We do not dispute Dan Tudorache’s victory, but we request the recount of the votes from the polling stations where there were problems. It’s not a normal thing. Everybody can see that the biggest number of cancelled votes is where Tudorache won. We must know the truth” said a participant at the protest.
A 35-40 years old woman didn’t appreciate that there is a problem that around 4,000 people announced their presence, while in University Square were less than 500 people.
“If they announced their presence, it doesn’t mean they have to physically be here. Thei have shown their support although they could live in New Zeeland”, said the woman.
Clotilde Armand, the Save Bucharest Union’s (USB) candidate for Bucharest District 1 mayor, was welcomed in applause to the University Square on Saturday, by the few hundreds gathered to the protest meeting asking for the local election for District 1 vote recount.
The USB candidate said she is sad for having lost the elections, but, at the same time, happy to see how many persons gathered to support the idea of democracy.
She said the election process ended, she lost, and all she wants to do now is to ask for two rounds in the future elections in Romania.
Clotilde Armand underscored that the demarche with the exception of unconstitutionality on the voting in one single round in the local elections is for the long term.
She also said that USB raised the exception of unconstitutionality at CCR, accusing the non-representativeness of the PSD candidate in the forefront of the Bucharest District 1 Town Hall.
“It’s obvious that it will not be retroactively implemented, but it’s a matter of opportunity. We have submitted our request at CCR claiming that in the future the elections in Romania must not be in a single tour anymore. (…)Not they are the ones who are with me, but i am the one who is with them!” added Armand.
“It doesn’t seem fair knowing that my vote isn’t rightly counted and this is what the democratic process should be. We are not in a participatory democracy where we can decide all laws. We can decide on very few things. If this process itself is not a valid one, I don’t know how we could still trust the state institutions,” said Florin Badita, one of the organisers who launched the protest announcement on Facebook.
Save Bucharest Union’s candidate for District 1 mayor Clotilde Armand on Thursday filed a new challenge with the District 1 Electoral Bureau, invoking the fact that a mayor elected by 10 percent of the enfranchised citizens cannot be representative.
The Save Bucharest Union asked, after the local elections, for the recount of the paper ballots of 18 stations in District 1, saying that there is a strongly significant negative correlation between the percentage of null votes and those for USB candidate Clotilde Armand.
The USB request was denied on Tuesday evening by the Constituency Electoral Bureau, which reported that the USB party was provided with all the legal conditions of representation within the electoral process and that the No 1 Constituency Electoral Bureau – District 1 cannot be made accountable for the lack of diligence of the USB delegates.