15 June, 2008

Romanian Rumble #1 - Elections

I will be starting a series of so-called "Rumbles" I have about romania, after the trip i had their by the end of may/beginning of June.

Maybe the 1st one worth mentioning is the fact that i happened to start my vacation there one week before the local municipalities elections in Romania, and thus, i decided to use my right in choosing a mayor for my Romanian home town, and get as well an image for this blog's reader here in jordan about how municipal elections in Romania (an EU country) differ or match the ones we had in jordan just 1 year ago.

Well, maybe the model i'm displaying here in the photos published in this post is not for the Romanian capital. But well, lets just see what came into my mind.

1st of all, taking a look at the ordinary street publicity, there was organized publicity ....
on street panels

on buildings

on special installed panels

and, with vehicles roaming around the roads with photos, flags, and sound announcement to vote for a particular party and/or candidate.

as well as rebellious publicity, in all random places, with posters of one candidate and his party covering another's.

... and maybe some, rebellious organized publicity ... with interesting promises that the party will clean those spots after finishing the electoral campaign!

Some other means of publicity exceeded those regular methods to more interesting ones, just like, convincing the people to vote for a certain candidate by messages printed on ... Food Elements packages like sugar, rice, flour ... and even, well, Eggs!

Photo courtesy of Amar De zi

Other methods were by even distributing free Mobile handsets and lines! Like one of the candidates in one of Bucharest's sectors, who distributed over 40,000 lines and devices.

Now the big day had come, and people started going to their local voting section according to the electoral lists (which are address-based ones), an amazing observation was the fact that ID cards weren't marked with thermo-pressure water stamps, nor had their corner chopped off like we had here in jordan, a simple small paper stamp was sticked on the back of the ID Card, and thats it! What! Yes, I could have just put my ID card in a water bowl for 20 mins, remove the stamp, and go vote again! "Jordanian minds just, work :D" ... well, and if a fraud is to happen, with knowing some people in a certain section, some people can do this and go vote again and again, despite they already signed on the electoral list, in case of having an organized fraud mafia doing it.

And like if it wasn't done! Plenty of electoral frauds were done in the small villages around the Romanian capital, since the capital territories are to be expanded, and some candidates would do anything to get their hands on those small municipalities surrounding a capital were the worst apartment in the worst area of Bucharest wont cost less than 1000-1200 Euro/ Sq Meter (Yes, just over the price of meter of a luxury flat or villa in Abdoun or Dabouq !!! ).
Votes were also being bought with 200-500 Euros in those small towns and villages, imported votes outside the lists were allowed to vote more than once, while local peoples weren't allowed in the voting sections, and other more frauds. "Stefaneshti" was maybe the most popular case. But at least, a couple of days after the elections, the frauds were proved in this municipality as well as another one, and voting results were canceled, and voting was rescheduled 2 weeks later, that is, today.

Another grave incident that those elections have witnessed, was when the Romanian prime minister went and voted with a “Voting Card” rather than an ID. The Voting card was issued several years ago, but was never used by the authorities in any elections, not only this, but the law indicates that the electoral right can be done only by the ID. So, the prime minister presented his self with the non-legitimate “Voting Card”, and voted!!!! with no one stopping in his way!! why did he do that, why this was accepted by the voting section employees ... no one know!!! What was to be done after according to the law that says clearly that this Voting Card cannot be used and only an ID is to be used ... Well, thats the magic of Romanian laws, which i will be discussing soon in more Romanian rumbles, more soon, here, on my Blog :)

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