UPDATE: Election fraud allegations in Bucharest’s District 1, investigation ongoing
Update: The Bucharest District 1 Police announced on Tuesday, September 29, that eight people were heard in the investigation concerning the potential forging of electoral records. The Police said it found 473 voting records, with the results of the September 27 vote, in possession of one man, who was a candidate for a post in the Local Council. The Police said it cannot yet say if the records were original ones or copies, Hotnews.ro reported.
An investigation into a potential electoral fraud in District 1 was opened after Clotilde Armand, the USR-PLUS candidate for the District 1 mayor job, called the Police alleging an electoral fraud attempt.
The representatives of USR-PLUS argue there are several ways the electoral fraud could have been committed, including by adding QR codes of the original voting records to fake records or by reporting fewer votes to the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) than listed in the voting records.
Initial news: Several representatives of the center-right USR-PLUS alliance have alleged electoral fraud attempts amid a tight race for Bucharest’s district mayor seats.
In District 1, the USR PLUS candidate Clotilde Armand claimed the PSD opponent, current mayor Dan Tudorache, tried to rig the elections by allegedly changing the records of the vote count. Tudorache claimed he won the elections with an advance of 200 votes, while the partial results issued by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) showed Armand was winning the race in District 1. He rejected Armand’s accusations.
The USR-PLUS alliance also notified the Police that they identified one individual who left the District 1 Electoral Bureau with 100 voting minutes covering the results of the September 27 vote. The Police are now investigating the allegations in District 1, G4Media.ro reported. At the same time, the spokesperson of the District 1 Prosecutors’ Office told Ziare.com that an investigation was open regarding an alleged attempt to forge electoral documents.
During the hearings on the evening of September 28, the candidate for the local councilor seat who was seen leaving with the voting minutes told the Police the minutes were needed for the additional vote count, which every party can hold. The electoral authority now needs to check the documents and notify the Police if the documents were meant for the additional count, sources told G4Media.ro.
On Tuesday morning, September 29, Clotilde Armand had 35,506 votes (41.06%), while Dan Tudorache had 34,349 votes (39.72%), according to the preliminary results announced by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).
Meanwhile, Dan Tudorache requested a re-count of the votes in District 1. The PSD also requested a re-count on September 28, PSD president Marcel Ciolacu announced.
In District 4, USR district president Paul Ene claimed that no votes were counted for the USR-PLUS alliance in one voting section, when it actually had 382 votes, News.ro reported.
(Photo: Ilona Andrei/ Inquam Photos)