Presidential elections on November 22

The government also decided to assume responsibility over the pack of education laws put forward by Minister Ecaterina Andronescu, Deputy PM Nica said.

PD-L and PSD have established the date of the Presidential elections during yesterday’s coalition meeting. The new President will be known on November 22 if one of the candidates surpasses 50 per cent of the eligible votes or on December 6 when the voters will have to choose between the top two candidates left in the race. According to Deputy Premier and Minister of Internal Affairs Dan Nica, PD-L and PSD have also established that no changes will be brought to the Presidential elections law in what concerns the conditions that the candidates have to meet and the elections’ progression.

Nica added that PSD and PD-L have also agreed on a series of measures meant to prevent electoral frauds. The Deputy Premier pointed out that the manner of voting will be changed in the special voting centers set up for voters that are not present at their place of residence. According to him, such centers will be set up in each locality, in tourism resorts, airports and train stations; however all of them will have webcams in order to prevent frauds. Likewise, the voters that are not present at their place of residence but want to cast their votes will fill-in a statement according to which they are aware that they are liable to do jail time if they vote more than once.

Assumption of responsibility

Deputy Premier Dan Nica also announced that the governing coalition decided that the Government will assume its responsibility in Parliament in three stages, on three law packages: the package of economic anti-crisis measures, the package consisting of the blanket wage law and the package of education laws.

He pointed out that the decision ‘is the Prime Minister’s prerogative, one that cannot be challenged in any way,’ and added that the Government will send its letter of intent to Parliament on September 2. Nica explained that since this is about three packages of laws there will be three Parliamentary sessions for a three-stage assumption of responsibility. Nica explained the existence of different stages in the process through the fact that some of the measures included in those laws have fixed deadlines agreed upon with the IMF, deadlines that have to be respected.

On the other hand, he added, the education laws have no similar deadlines so that the debate on them can be prolonged in Parliament until the end of September and early October. ‘The Prime Minister informed us that the package of laws that was presented by Minister Andronescu is the package on which the Government plans to assume its responsibility,’ Dan Nica stated. It has to be said in this context that ahead of yesterday’s BPCC meeting, Prime Minister Emil Boc stated that PD-L and PSD have to urgently take a decision in what concerns the Government’s assumption of responsibility on several laws, opining that time ‘is running out.’

‘Basically, this is decision time. Each Romanian stands to lose because the major decisions on reforming the state haven’t been taken. Time is running out, that is why after debates that have lasted well over eight months it is time to take decisions on reforming the state.’

Stolojan: We don’t need a political crisis right now

Theodor Stolojan, Radu Berceanu and Gheorghe Flutur, three of the PD-L leaders, have stated yesterday before the BPCC meeting that throwing the PSD out of the Government is out of the question.

Flutur opined that although there are arguments between PD-L and PSD on the issue of some of the goals included in the governing program and the Democrat-Liberals are displeased when those goals are not respected, ‘the issue is not put in terms of’ throwing the PSD out of the Government. He thus commented the statement recently made by Vice President Ioan Oltean.

Oltean had threatened to raise that issue during the PD-L leadership’s meeting on Monday and had said that PD-L is ‘firmly’ asking the PSD to respect the governing program. Asked about Oltean’s intention, Theodor Stolojan, the First Vice-President of PD-L, answered: ‘personally I believe a political crisis is the last thing Romania needs right now.’

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