The ruling coalition discussed the possibility of organising local elections on June 10, during its weekly session yesterday, according to Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) spokesperson Sever Voinescu. “I was informed by the party’s leader that the coalition discussed the possibility of organising local elections on June 10,” Voinescu added, according to Mediafax news agency. Over the next few days, the matter will be discussed with all parliamentary parties, in order for the government to issue the necessary legislation that will allow the election process to move ahead.
When asked whether the opposition parties will also be consulted, Voinescu replied that it is “the normal and natural thing to do,” to discuss the date of local elections with the opposition.
“The date was set in principle, a definite date will be set after the consultations with parties. You see, there are some calendar restrictions: a week before we will have a very important religious celebration, which will come with a day off. We will have to take into consideration all of these things and the election date will most likely be June 10,” Voinescu explained.
He also said a decision will be made very soon, because the government has to come up with the required legislation in two weeks. Under the most recent election law changes, mayors will be elected in only one round of voting this year.
Initially, the government wanted to postpone the local elections until this autumn, in order to hold them on the same day as legislative elections, in what the cabinet described as an attempt to reduce costs. The move was challenged with the Constitutional Court by the opposition and the Court ruled the law was unconstitutional, forcing the current rule to drop the project.
Commenting on Voinescu’s announcement, opposition Social Liberal Union leaders Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu said they would agree to hold the local elections in June. “It’s good that there will be elections. This is the first thing. The date… is already a big step for Romanian democracy,” Antonescu said. “It’s good they are held in June,” Ponta added.