Romanians vote for mayors in ballot overshadowed by graft

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Romanians have begun voting for local officials in administrations that are plagued with corruption.

In Bucharest, the former mayor and six out of seven district mayors elected in 2012 have been convicted or are being investigated on graft charges. Two are running to win their districts again this year.

Polls opened Sunday at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) and will close at 9 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Some 51 of 109 mayors of Romania's major cities are convicted or investigated for corruption or have been declared unfit for office according to the anti-corruption site.

It is the first ballot after the Colectiv nightclub fire where 64 died. The fire was blamed on safety officials who ignored violations of fire regulations. Former Premier Victor Ponta resigned following protests.