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Cristian Pirvulescu: Local elections campaign focussed on Bucharest elections

June 20, 2024

Merger of local and European elections moved the center of interest to administrative problems, European topics becoming secondary, said political analyst Cristian Pirvulescu, who considers that disapora presence for elections will be lower than in May 2019.   “As anticipated, the merger of local and European elections moved the center of interest to administrative problems. Consequently, European topics became secondary, even on social media, where the campaign was however more intense. The campaign for local elections was tactically focussed on Bucharest elections, especially on those for City Mayor, as an experiment for presidential elections of September,” Pirvulescu declared for Agerpres.   He considers that “beyond appearances, the campaign silence was deceitful.” “Attacks against candidates, especially against Nicusor Dan, tried to reset confrontation and realaunch challenger candidacies. In classic media the campaign was suspiciously quiet, because the confrontation had already moved online. And, online, it was not debate , but aggressive promotion and attacks that were privileged,” said professor Pirvulescu.   Cristian Pirvulescu says that moving campaigns to online and social media, where certain parties and candidates have been in a continuus campaign, gave two main tendencies: focus on local topics adapted by parties to every system and speculating conspiracy topics by anti-system parties.   He showed that June 9 election results will influence presidential elections which in their turn will influence the results of parliamentary elections.   “However there is still room for the unpredictable, especially due to independent candidacies. They have already represented a undeniable percentage in the voting intention for European elections. The latter coagulate a protest vote which, many times in the past, was decisive in the second round of presidential elections. But, a clear vote of the present government majority will have, beyond results of presidential elections, an impact on the future configuration of the Parliament,” said Pirvulescu.   Referring to the voting presence, Pirvulescu declared it would be determined by the local elections, considered a priority.   “The voting presence was below 50% in the last elections. In September 2020, the voting presence was 46.02%, while in June 2016 the presence was 48.17% in the local elections. This election behavior may repeat on June 9. In general, mobilization for the locals is better, considering Romania's special situation with 5 million electors living abroad who will not be able to vote in the local elections. I expect a relatively low presence in the diaspora, compared to the European vote of May 2019 when the referendum for justice acted as a lever in presence increase. This time, the locals will again act as a lever, but with a different effect, political analyst Cristian Pirvulescu showed.

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