Romania's Social Liberal Union poised for landslide victory in local elections: exit polls

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-6-11 11:14:19

More than half of the over 18 million voters Sunday casted their votes in Romania's quadrennial local elections and the Social Liberal Union (USL) seems to have won a landslide victory, according to the exit polls.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said he is extremely satisfied with the fact that Romanians turned out to vote and thus legitimised for the first time his USL cabinet.

Chairman Crin Antonescu of the National Liberal Party, in power as part of the USL that also includes Ponta's Social Democratic Party and the Conservative Party, said the results of Sunday's local elections showed that the USL is a viable political construction, underscoring that the most important thing about the elections was that a majority of Romanians cast their ballots.

According to the data supplied by the Central Electoral Bureau, the turnout all over the eastern European country was 56.39 percent on Sunday by 9:00 p.m. (1800 GMT) when the elections ended.

The USL candidates are topping the mayoral races in major municipalities, showed exit polls announced after the poling stations closed.

According to the Ministry of Administration and the Interior, over 280,000 citizens run for almost 45,000 positions of local authorities.

The citizens were to elect 3,187 mayors out of 14,139 candidates nationwide, 41 chairmen of country councils out of 368 candidates, 1,338 county councillors out of 15,635 candidates and 40,311 local councillors out of 255,276 candidates, said earlier Minister Delegate for Administration Victor Paul Dobre.

For the first time after december 1989, the election of mayors and chairmen of country councils would be done in a single round, with the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes cast to be declared the winner. Local and county councilors would be elected based on party lists.

The local elections are widely regarded as a litmus test of parliamentary elections later this year.

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