The deputies adopted on Wednesday the draft law on the distance voting, a normative act that will only apply to the parliamentary elections. The bill was adopted with 257 votes in favour, 12 abstentions and 30 against.
The leader of the PNL group in the Chamber of Deputies, Eugen Nicolaescu, announced, immediately after the vote, the cease of the Liberals’ parliamentary strike.
Tuesday, the Electoral Code Commission adopted the favourable report on the normative act. The commission also decided that the distance voting would only apply to the parliamentary election, not the presidential and European parliamentary elections as well, as the draft initially adopted by the Senate specified.
The distance voting for the Romanians in the Diaspora will only operate as a pilot project for the parliamentary election. Political sources say it is the result of the agreement reached between PSD and PNL on the Electoral Code Commission.
In fact, the Chairman of the Commission, Gabriel Vlase, said the draft law on the distance voting would be a pilot project and the distance voting would apply, for the time being, just to the parliamentary election and, ‘according to what happens next autumn, when there is the parliamentary election’, the system could also be used for other kinds of elections.
Another PSD amendment that was adopted by the commission on Tuesday says the disclosure of the secret of the vote might be punished by the criminal law, and so might the voting for another person.
The MPs on the commission removed from the draft the clause that Romanian citizens based abroad, who wish to use the system of distance voting, could register in the electoral register online.
The commission also decided that ‘the Romanian citizens based abroad, who wish to register to use the distance voting system must register in the electoral register with the option for the distance voting base don a written application they need to sign and personally submit or mailed to the diplomatic mission or consular office in the country of domicile or residence, enclosing a photocopy of the passport with a note on the country of domicile and a photocopy of the ID’.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea said the distance voting would also be used for the presidential election.
‘Provisions will be also established for the presidential election t\for the exercise of the distance voting, but, since the presidential election is not tomorrow, we need more time to find the best forms of procedure, because these are two distinct elections. The rumour launched that there will be no distance voting for the presidential election is absolutely not true.
Immediately, I don’t know of during this session or next session, that draft law will be also adopted’, said the PSD leader.
M10: Distance voting should apply to all kinds of elections
The M10 party urges the Chamber of Deputies, as decision-making body, to take into account the proposals and observations the representatives of the formation sent to the Electoral Code Commission regarding the distance voting draft law, one of which being that it should apply to all kinds of elections.
‘The M10 party is urging the Chamber of Deputies to approve a full, transparent and operational law that should give all Romanians in the Diaspora the possibility to vote from a distance in all kinds of elections’.
M10 submitted to the Electoral Code Commission on Monday, 19 October, a set of proposals and observations on eh draft law tabled by the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP). The distance voting should apply to all kinds of elections, including the local, European and presidential elections’, reads a release of the party led by Monica Macovei.
The M10 party also demands that the law should concretely describe the stages of the voting process from the moment the citizen decides he/she wants to vote by post until the moment when the ballot enters the ballot box, and that voters should be able to register in the electoral register also online, not just by written application.
Alina Gorghiu: ‘When we have the majority, we will expand the vote to all types of elections’
PNL co-president Alina Gorghiu says that, when her party will have the majority in Parliament, the first thing they will do is to expand the application of the distance voting system to all types of elections.
The PNL leader reminds that PNL ‘insisted’ that the distance voting should apply to all types of elections, not only the parliamentary ones.
‘We will make sure that, in 2019, wherever they may be, Romanians won’t have to endure humiliations in order to elect their president’, Gorghiu says.
UDMR leaves the room
The UDMR MPs on Wednesday left the plenary meeting room of the Chamber of Deputies during the debates on the distance voting draft law, protesting against the fact that the bill was being discussed under en emergency procedure without the possibility of making amendments, according to MP Marton Arpad.
At the beginning of the meeting, the deputies allowed for 15 minutes of debates on the bill. UDMR’s protest came after the 15 minutes expired, when the adoption of articles began without giving them the opportunity to make amendments.