A video shared on social media showed dozens of villagers lighting candles as they visit the tomb of Social Democraticist Ion Aliman after voting in local elections on Sunday.
“It’s your victory,” one man can say. “Know that you will be proud of us. Rest in peace.”
Aliman took third place in the market of Deveselu, a village of about 3,000 people in southern Romania, with a 64% vote.
“He was a real market for us,” an anonymous woman wearing a surgical mask told Deveselu’s private television station ProTV. “He sided with the town respecting all the laws. I will never see a market like that again.”
Ali Mann, a former naval officer who would have turned 57 on Monday, died on September 17 at a hospital in Bucharest. His name was already on a printed ballot and could not be removed, officials said. A new election is held.
In 2008, a village in eastern Romania also deliberately re-elected the mayor who died shortly after voting began.
Despite Ali Mann’s victory, his Social Democrats on Sunday lost major city and county councils across Romania to the Middle Minority Liberal Party government and the USR-Plus, an alliance of the two center-right groups.
Romania has reported 123,944 Covid-19 infections since the end of February, with 4,748 deaths, the highest mortality rate in the eastern part of the European Union.
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