Ion Aliman, the mayor of a small village in Romania called Deveselu was just re-elected for a third term. Pretty normal, right? Except that he died from COVID complications ten days before the municipal elections.
News of his death passed through the small village of a mere 3,000 people pretty quickly but by that point, it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. Hence, a newly elected ghost mayor.
Aliman would have celebrated his 57th birthday on Election Day. To commemorate his memory, the villagers paid a visit to his grave and lit candles for him. They voted for the man they so admired, despite his death, and assured him: “This is your victory… we will make you proud, we know that from somewhere up there you are watching.”
Aliman represented the Social Democrat Party known as PSD, which lost the contest for the mayor of the capital, Bucharest, to a candidate of the center-right National Liberal Party. The NLP has controlled Romania’s minority government since last fall. The partial preliminary results show that the PSD is unlikely to regain power in the December parliamentary vote.
The PSD did have a sweet victory in Deveselu, however, which I’m sure would’ve made the beloved Ion Aliman very proud. May he rest in peace.
If you’d like to know more about the hidden gem that is Romania, click right here to read about all that it has to offer. It might be worth a trip after the pandemic ends (and it won’t break the bank either!).