Bulgaria Elections Hungary Romania

Local elections held in parallel with EU ballot in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania

| 2024-06-10 2 min read

Local elections held in parallel with EU ballot in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One-third of the EU-27 member states held local or national elections in tandem with the European Parliament ballot on June 6-9. Of these, three were countries in Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

Romania’s June 9 local elections saw 41 county council president and 3,176 mayor posts up for grabs. Although Gabriela Firea missed out on taking Bucharest from independent supported by the United Right Alliance, Nicusor Dan, the coalition of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (PSD) and centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL) had a good election night overall. 

While Dan secured 45% of the vote, way ahead of PSD’s Gabriela Firea on 24%, Romania’s ruling coalition won 63% of the votes for county councils, with PSD receiving 35% and PNL 28%. The opposition United Right Alliance and far-right AUR each received 12%, while UDMR obtained 5%. The local election turnout was 49.9%, slightly lower than the 52.3% turnout for the European Parliament elections. 

Dan has announced a referendum on consolidating the power of Bucharest City Hall over district mayoral offices, potentially alongside the general election scheduled for December.

Borissov’s GERB edges ahead of rivals in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s legislative elections on 9 June were its sixth in just over three years. The three main players were centre-right of GERB (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria), the pro-Western, liberal We Continue the Change (PP) and the pro-Russian, Eurosceptic Vazrazhdane (Revival).

With 23.65% of the vote, GERB appeared to have won on Sunday, based on 64.06% of ballots counted by Monday morning. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, representing the country’s ethnic Turkish minority, received 15.89%, closely followed by PP on 15.08%, and Revival with 14.33%.

GERB leader Boyko Borissov, who led the country for over a decade, lost power in 2021 following widespread protests accusing him of corruption and ties with powerful local oligarchs. Sunday’s election was prompted by the collapse of a coalition between GERB and PP in March. 

Budapest mayoral candidate demands recount over invalid ballots

After a tight battle for Budapest mayor, LMP-Greens candidate David Vitezy called for a recount of the Budapest mayoral ballots due to a large amount of invalid ballots, totalling some 22,000. According to the initial count, Vitezy had 47.49%, just behind the incumbent Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony with 47.52%.  

In Budapest, opposition parties took fourteen districts, ruling party Fidesz secured six mayoral districts, and independents took four. Nationwide, Fidesz won mayoral seats in fourteen county seats, opposition parties seven, and independents four, with 93.73% of the vote counted.