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Bucharest
September 25, 2022
POLITICS

Voting by mail idea gathers supporters

President Traian Basescu’s promise that he will rally for the introduction of a voting by mail system for the Diaspora garnered several supporters, mostly from the ruling Democrat Liberal Party, while the Foreign Ministry and election authorities said a draft law in the direction has already been developed three years ago.


Chamber of Deputies’ Secretary Sever Voinescu, a Democrat Liberal who acted as spokesperson for President Basescu during last year’s election campaign, said yesterday that an early voting by mail system should be introduced for citizens living in the country and abroad, to avoid discrimination. Several other Democrat Liberals also say they are in favour of such a project. PDL MEP Cezar Preda said the voting by mail system should be doubled with an early voting system, which would help avoid possible abuses involving special ballot stations and ‘election tourism’ cases.


PDL vice president Anca Boagiu also said yesterday the idea of introducing such a system is not new and that the Democrats and the Foreign Ministry had a similar initiative in the previous legislative assembly. Boagiu underlined Romanians in the Diaspora are often prevented from casting their vote because of the rather low number of ballot stations opened abroad in case of elections. She also voiced hope that this kind of system would help avoid any suspicion of illegality surrounding the votes of Romanians living abroad, suspicions that “offended Romanians working” in other countries. In last month’s presidential elections, it was alleged that the voting abroad was massively rigged so as to allow President Basescu win a second term in office.


Basescu’s comments were also welcomed by opposition Liberal Party first vice president Ludovic Orban, who said his party would submit a draft law to introduce this system and to set up a commission meant to improve election legislation.


The opposition Social Democrats were rather sceptical, with PSD deputy general secretary Valeriu Zgonea saying that his party would basically agree to the voting by mail system, but it was suspicious of Basescu’s proposal, given “the contestable results” he obtained in the Diaspora last year.

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