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October 25, 2021

Vote on new general elections law, postponed

The general elections law was not included on Parliament’s order of the day on Wednesday. Thus, MPs preferred to postpone their vote on the general elections law for next week because of an attendance problem.

If the law is adopted and then promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis, next year’s elections will be organized on the basis of the new law.

The draft law, which received the Electoral Code Commission’s green light, stipulates the return to party lists of candidates and the lowering of the number of MPs.

The Electoral Code Commission gave a favourable report on Tuesday on the draft general elections law, also including technical amendments in it. The report was adopted unanimously (15 votes in favour) and should have been debated and voted on within the Lower Chamber on Wednesday, the Lower Chamber being the decisive Chamber.

In early July the Senate adopted the draft law concerning the general elections and the functioning of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP), a draft law initiated by several MPs from PSD, UNPR, PC, PNL, UDMR and from among the MPs representing ethnic minorities.

The draft law stipulates that MPs are elected on party lists, in line with the proportional distribution principle, one Senator representing 168,000 citizens in Parliament and one Lower Chamber MP representing 73,000 citizens in Parliament.

Likewise, the draft law stipulates that the electoral threshold represents the minimum number of valid votes needed for Parliamentary representation, calculated as follows: 5 per cent of the total valid votes at national level or 20 per cent of the valid votes cast in at least four constituencies for all electoral competitors; in the case of political alliances and electoral alliances, added to the 5 per cent threshold are 3 per cent of nation-wide votes for the second member of the alliance and 1 per cent of the valid votes cast in all constituencies for every member of the alliance starting with the third member, without surpassing 10 per cent of those votes.

The law also defines the “electoral fraud” term, in the sense that it represents “any action that takes place before, during or after the end of voting or during the vote counting and drawing up of the reports process and whose result is the falsifying of the voters’ will and generating advantages in the form of extra mandates for a certain electoral competitor,” Agerpres informs.

Civil society asks President to send the draft law back for re-examination

Civil society representatives reunited in the “Politics without Barriers” campaign criticize the draft general elections law, stating that it avoided substantial debates and does not represent a step forward. “In the last 2 weeks the political parties represented in the Commission refused any form of dialogue, consultation or debate on the text that came from the Senate’s plenum, proving a serious lack of consideration toward several fundamental rights of several categories of electorate,” a campaign communiqué informs.

“Not only was the project adopted away from the public’s eyes, without consultations with relevant civil society organizations, but it also contains provisions that maintain or even promote opacity, since the meetings of electoral bureaus are not public, electoral observers cannot have access to the whole electoral process (but only to the moment of elections per se), and the call to come to vote could be incriminated as electoral propaganda if it takes place after the end of the elections campaign. For all these reasons, the “Politics without Barriers” campaign has decided not to endorse the process that has led to this draft law through its presence at the Joint Commission meeting today and distances itself from this draft law that does not represent a step forward. The “Politics without Barriers” campaign is studying the possibility of asking the Romanian President to send the draft law back for re-examination in Parliament,” the representatives of the “Politics without Barriers” campaign state.


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