A Romanian town has re-elected their mayor by a landslide even though he died two weeks ago from COVID-19 complications/
A video shared on social media showed dozens of villagers visiting the grave of Ion Aliman, a Social Democrat, to light candles after voting had ended in Sunday’s local elections.
“It is your victory,” one man can be heard saying. “Know that you will be proud of us. Rest in peace.”
Aliman won his third term as mayor of Deveselu, a village of around 3,000 people in southern Romania, with 64% of the vote, electoral bureau data showed on Monday.
He won 1,057 of the 1,600 votes cast.
“He was a real mayor to us,” one unnamed woman who wore a surgical mask told private television station ProTV in Deveselu. “He took the side of the village, respected all the laws. I don’t think we will see a mayor like him again.”
Aliman, a former navy officer who would have turned 57 on Monday, died on Sept. 17 in a hospital in Bucharest. His name was already on the printed voting ballots and could not be removed, officials said. A new election will be held.
Local council members will appoint a deputy mayor to take his place until new elections can take place. The current deputy mayor Nicolae Dobre, who is from the same Social Democrat Party as Aliman, is planning to run for the position.