Discussions have barely started on the new Electoral Code and the representatives of power and those of the oppositions have already found grounds for confrontation, although parties of the entire political spectrum expressed their support for adopting a new electoral law.
Based on the recommendations of the Venice Commission, PNL demands that the changes be made as fast as possible and finished by the end of May so that the Code could be adopted in the Parliament a year before local elections of 2016.
On the other hand, PSD and UDMR would like that the work on laws meant to regulate the parliamentary elections could continue until autumn.
According to the document mentioned by PNL, “the fundamental elements of the electoral code should not be modified less than a year before the elections or they should be treated at international level”.
Nonetheless, the recommendation was ignored several times. Last autumn, the Ponta Government changed the presidential elections law by emergency ordinance. In 2012, claiming that it represents a change of electoral laws during the electoral year, the Constitutional Court overruled a law issued by the former USL stipulating the introduction of the pure uninominal voting. In 2011, an initiative by PDL was attacked by PSD out of similar reasons.
Voting by correspondence, electronic voting, two round elections for Heads of County Councils and Mayors, the decrease of the registering minimum requested for a party to 500 signatures and the change of the voting for parliamentary elections; all of these are waiting for solutions from behalf of the respective Parliament Committee, summoned for Wednesday, January 14.
“It is not merely necessary to change the Election Law for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. We should create an entire package named the Electoral Code and fit into a deadline of a year, before local elections. We will shortly realize whether the majority in the Parliament, especially PSD, has indeed the political willingness of reforming electoral laws”, said Mihai Voicu, PNL Deputy and a member of the Electoral Code Committee, quoted by Digi24.
“Why they did nothing for two years, because we had a majority of 70 per cent together? It does not mean that it is impossible to do. The local elections law may be finished a year before elections”, Gabriel Vlase, PSD Deputy and a member of the Electoral Code Committee declared.
The main topics of disagreement of the two groups are the painful issue of funding and the election of Mayors.
PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga mentioned that Liberals support the adoption of a new law regulating the funding of political parties, a law that would stipulate that the funding of political parties would be made solely out of the state budget, “as much as the state budget affords”.
“This way, it would be obvious that we would not discuss various more or less visible ways of funding political parties”, the PNL leaders explained.
The response by PSD appeared immediately. They do not agree with Vasile Blaga’s idea and would prefer private funding by the lobby law, just like in the US.
“Mr. Blaga has been in politics since 1990, I am surprised that such an idea occurred to him right now. We are again pretending to be more Catholic than the Pope. If the US accept funding according to lobbying law, why we could not accept it?”, Gabriel Vlase, PSD Deputy in the Electoral Code Committee says according to Digi24.
As for electing Mayors, PNL wishes that these and County Council Presidents would be elected in two rounds of elections.
UDMR members of the Parliament have objections as well: “There should be an agreement that is absent in my opinion. I do not think local elections should be changed. PNL is tempted to prefer this version because they think they can take over Mayoralties as well in two rounds”, Marton Arpad, UDMR deputy in the Electoral Code Committee declared.