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November 27, 2021

EC has no competence over postal voting dispute

The European Commission has no competence intervening in national legislation on elections and voting procedures, EC chief Jose Manuel Barroso said in a reply to a Social-Democrat notification decrying a postal voting draft developed by the Foreign Ministry. The EC could intervene only if the legislation in question would involve EU legislation, said the reply, sent to Mediafax by PSD’s press office.

The response came after PSD Deputy Cristian Rizea sent an open letter to Barroso, complaining about the “abusive manner” in which FM Teodor Baconschi is trying to legalise postal voting, through a draft law that would allegedly help the current rule rig 2012 legislative elections and the 2014 presidential election.

The project is heavily contested by the opposition, but FM Baconschi maintains it is necessary for Romanians abroad, so that they can vote more easily in national elections. Further controversy on the matter was triggered by comments made by Baconschi at the ruling Democrat Liberal Party’s convention over the weekend, when he was elected first vice president of the party. Baconschi said the draft law is aimed at helping PDL win one million votes from the Diaspora, and opposition Liberal leader Crin Antonescu immediately moved and demanded PM Emil Boc to dismiss the foreign minister. In reply, Baconschi said he invites the PNL leader to dialogue on postal voting, underlining that Antonescu surely understands the importance of the draft law to democracy. Moreover, PSD Vice President Titus Corlatean said on Monday that the Social Liberal Union would file a regular motion against the minister in the Senate this week or the next.

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