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January 27, 2023

Poll: Only 41 pc are sure to participate in constitutional review referendum

An opinion poll conducted by the Inscop institute as part of the ‘Truth about Romania’ project shows that only 41 per cent of Romanians are positive about participating in the referendum for the review of the Constitution, while the quorum necessary for the referendum to be valid is 50 per cent plus one vote. Another 31 per cent do not reject the idea of going to the polls, but say they will think about it. The poll was done between February 18 and 28, 2013, on a sample group of 1,066 respondents, representative for the Romanian population over 18. ‘Adevarul’ says political decision-makers might abrogate or decrease the referendum quorum in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. In its code of good referendum practice, the Venice Commission recommends there should be no minimum required turnout, as reminded in the evaluation report on the referendum for the impeachment of the president, published in December 2012. On the other hand, the two referenda for the impeachment of the Romanian president have increased suspicion in the political establishment, the removal of the quorum being possible to interpret by the opposition as yet another gesture of war against Traian Basescu. The complete abrogation of the quorum may require a cross-party political agreement. The Inscop analysis recommends ‘a restrained approach on a massive participation of the population in a referendum for amending the Fundamental Law’, given the decline of turnout in general and for referenda in particular. Four referenda have been held in the past six years: two for dismissing the president, one for the introduction of the absolute majority voting system and one for reducing the number of MPs to 300 and for a unicameral Parliament. The two president impeachment referenda as well as the one consulting the population on the absolute majority voting were invalidated because the minimum turnout was not achieved.

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