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September 18, 2020
POLITICS

Push forward with legislative elections hailed by power, disavowed by opposition

PM Ponta’s proposal for parliamentary elections to be held earlier, in October, was welcomed by officials with the Social-Liberal Union (USL) yet criticized by the opposition, with the latter saying such proposal would encroach on the Constitution. Ponta’s proposal is grounded in the reasoning that the push forward would allow the new Government to get the draft budget thru Parliament in November at the latest. “While there is a small impediment, constitutionally speaking, given the provision saying the new Parliament shall be convened within 20 days since election, a political agreement and, provided we ask the Constitutional Court too, (…) I believe it is in everybody’s interest to hold elections in October, until the winter holidays (…),” Ponta told Realitatea TV, and added that he had discussed the topic with the USL, and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR), with  similar talks to be held with the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). “Nobody in particular would stand to gain from it, everybody would do, were we to succeed in accomplishing it,” Ponta said later on. National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu, too, agreed with Ponta’s proposal, as Romania needs a parliamentary majority, while Ion Iliescu, honorary president of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), says that the Constitution is the work of people and, if there is political common ground, legislative elections could be moved forward.  However, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor says that, while the Union agrees with the parliamentary elections being pushed forward, an “inter-party agreement solution” is unacceptable nonetheless, constitutionally speaking. The opposition Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) has flatly rejected the notion, with  Mediafax citing  PDL spokesman Sever Voinescu as saying that, while political forces may reach “any political agreement Victor Ponta is dreaming of,” they nonetheless cannot defend the Constitution, adding that the premier ”is raising bogus questions”. PDL First-Vice-President Gheorghe Flutur says the issue should be discussed after local elections, as the Democrat-Liberals are now focusing on getting a good scoring at Sunday ballot. MEP Cristian Preda ironically noticed that while the PDL could only meet the USL at push forward talks, it would only do that to give the former the Constitution. He explained that term elections are those held during December 2, 2012 – March 19, 2013 with any date previous to December 2 meaning snap elections, and government resignation respectively.

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