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Romania’s Social Democrats Triumph in Year’s First Election Test

  • Party gets 39% in local ballots before general vote in winter
  • Upstart party performs well in Bucharest, vows national run

Romania’s Social Democrats came out on top in Sunday’s local elections, held months before the European Union’s second-poorest member votes for a new parliament.

Ex-Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s Social Democrats won the Bucharest mayor’s office and all of the capital’s six districts, the first such victory for a single party since the fall of communism, preliminary results showed Monday. Countrywide, they garnered 38.7 percent support in regional-council ballots, beating the Liberal Party’s 32.6 percent. Turnout was about 48 percent.