Romanian villagers re-elect mayor lost to COVID-19
BUCHAREST – After declaring Ion Aliman victor in the election for local mayor, residents of a village in the south of Romania proceeded to his grave to light candles in his honor.
Aliman was reelected in a landslide for an unprecedented third term as mayor of Deveselu. This is despite the fact that Aliman died from COVID-19 10 days before the country’s municipal elections.
His passing arrived too late to take his name off the ballot, but news of his death spread rapidly through the village. Aliman would have celebrated his 57th birthday on the day of the election.
To honor a man they admired, hundreds of villagers arrived at the polling station Sunday and voted for the deceased.
As the preliminary election results predicted a landslide victory for Aliman, a group of villagers proceeded to his grave to light candles and pay respects. Social media showed people gathered around the Mayor’s grave, some of them saying “This is your victory” and “We will make you proud, we know that from somewhere up there you are watching.”
Aliman was a leader of the left-leaning Social Democrat Party and so is his deputy, Nicolae Dobre. Dobre told a local TV station that “none of the other contenders got the same trust from the voters.”
Asked if he voted for Aliman, Dobre said: “I sure did.”