Three mayoral hopefuls share same name

A composite image showing of Mayor Vasile Cepoi on the left, then the other Vasile Cepois in the centre and rightImage copyright
Primaria Comunei Draguseni/

Image caption

Name game: Mayor Vasile Cepoi (L) will face Vasile Cepoi and Vasile Cepoi in the election

Voters in one Romanian town face a potentially confusing trip to the polls on Sunday, as the three candidates for mayor all share the same name, it’s reported.

The incumbent mayor in Draguseni, Vasile Cepoi, is seeking a fourth term in office, but is facing a challenge from two other Vasile Cepois, the Jurnalul national daily reports. Council official Viorel Munteanu says the three men aren’t related, and that Vasile is simply a popular Romanian moniker and Cepoi is a common name in the region. The unusual situation “guarantees Vasile Cepoi” a win, the paper says.

But Mayor Cepoi thinks that it could all be an election ploy on the part of his opponents. His namesakes represent the People’s Movement and National Liberal parties, both centre-right parties that oppose the centre-left mayor.

“I suspected that the parties would do this… When Messi plays, the whole opposing team plays against him,” Mayor Cepoi says, referring to the Barcelona football star. “They did the same with me. I’m the Messi of the Draguseni mayoral election.”

The two challengers deny any collusion, insisting that they just want what’s best for the town.

Being a seasoned politician, the current mayor has taken practical steps to head off any confusion by adding his nickname to the ballot paper. He’ll now appear as “Vasile Lica Cepoi”.

But one voter has come up with his own way of telling the men apart. Gheorghe Ariton tells Jurnalul he calls them: “Vasile Cepoi from the valley, Vasile Cepoi from the hill and Vasile Cepoi the original. The original!”

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