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April 22, 2021

International seminar on the Codification of the Electoral Law.Venice Commission’s Paczolay: Postal voting is a necessity

The Honorary President of Venice Commission Peter Paczolay said on Monday in Bucharest that the postal voting is a necessity and hopes the Romanians from abroad would benefit from such right.

“From the international experience, it is a necessity to have the postal voting and I hope the Romanians outside the country would benefit from it”, Paczolay told an international seminar on Codification of the Electoral Law.
The international seminar on the Codification of the Electoral Law is organised by the Romanian Permanent Election Authority (AEP) in partnership with Venice Commission in Bucharest on Monday and Tuesday.
The event gathers over 40 Romanian and foreign electoral experts, academics, representatives for electoral management bodies and renowned international organisations acting in the electoral area.

He underscored that the vote by post must give the electors who are not in the country on the election day or live in other countries to take part in the polls.

It is a very long debate regarding the postal voting not only in Romania, but also in other countries, such as Hungary. The idea is that there must be given the possibility to more voters to take part in the elections, who are not in the country on the voting day for various reasons or live in other countries. I think the basic argument against the postal voting is that it is not sure when the vote arrives or that it is not manipulated during the process. This was the argument against the postal voting in Hungary, I do not know how it is in Romania, said Paczolay, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Hungary.

Permanent Electoral Authority wants new election code for 2019

Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) Vice- President Constantin Mituletu-Buica says the electoral procedures must be unified for in the interest of a consistent, predictable and stable specific legislation.

“The AEP has submitted to the Parliament, as early as March 2011, a draft electoral code that unified and harmonized all the electoral laws of that time. Unfortunately, its outcome wasn’t positive. The first important steps towards an electoral reform were taken this year, by the Parliament’s modifications to the electoral laws and of the law for the financing of political parties and of election campaigns, with the active involvement of the AEP, which offered the Legislative specialized and technical consultancy. The AEP hopes that the Parliament adopts an election code and that its application will be possible in the 2019 elections,” Mituletu-Buica said on Monday at two-day international seminar on the codification of the electoral legal system, organized by the AEP in partnership with the Venice Commission.

Venice Commission Honorary President Peter Paczolay underlined that any legislative change must be well-timed, and the process must be transparent.

The election laws should not be changed and new laws should not be adopted during the election process, he said; principles and modifications can only be produced for the next electoral term (…) The electoral laws cannot guarantee democratic elections. The democratic character depends on the responsibility of authorities who apply these laws and on the involvement of all the factors – candidates, political parties and media.

Presidential advisor Simina Tanasescu mentioned that the laws must be clear, allowing voters to understand them, political actors to efficiently implement them, and courts to apply them.

“Legislation changes can become necessary, but too frequent modifications or amendments can affect them, leading to inconsistent administrative practices. The implementation authorities hardly have the time to get accustomed with the rules, when a new one occurs. When discussing the codification, we should make sure we have common rules for the basic topics common to all types of elections – the exercise of the voting right, the way electoral commissions are established, their functioning and organization (…) No vote should be left out, and this is very important when one wants a real democracy,” she pointed out, according to Agerpres.

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