Issues

Problems arise ahead of 2020 municipal elections

It was obvious right from the start that organizing the 2020 municipal elections in Romania wouldn’t be an easy task due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this turn of events was rather unexpected. In several counties, organizers have been hit by a major roadblock: The assigned chairmen and deputy chairmen in some constituencies have asked for their contracts to be terminated.

Take, for example, Beszterce-Naszód/Bistrița Năsăud and Arad counties: 40 percent and 20 percent of the chairmen and deputy chairmen of existing constituencies have respectively announced their withdrawal on the grounds of health or personal problems. Some even claimed they will be abroad on that date.

As of September 21, the number of those requesting replacement has reached 244 in Beszterce-Naszód County and 108 in Arad County. Such a mass request for replacements puts the counties’ election bureaus under heavy pressure, especially as they are now on the last lap ahead of the 2020 municipal elections, which take place this weekend.

The abundance of these resignations is rather interesting because these paid positions are assigned to people who voluntarily applied for them. According to foter.ro, such positions are usually filled by lawyers, economists, and teachers.

Title image: The President of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP), Constantin-Florin Mitulețu-Buică, in a meeting of the Central Technical Commission in charge of coordinating the organization of the 2020 municipal elections. Image source: AEP’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete