Two-round voting system for mayors: PSD, on the ropes

President Klaus Iohannis seems to be on the same wavelength with his former National Liberal Party (PNL) colleagues in what concerns the manner of holding local elections.

Present in Iasi at the festivities occasioned by the Union of Romanian Principalities Day, the Head of State expressed his agreement with the two-round voting system for mayors, an idea for which the Liberals are pressuring the Government. In his turn too, Premier Dacian Ciolos hinted that a consensus might be reached, despite the fact that several days ago he was saying a Government decision in the sense desired by the National Liberal Party (PNL) “would not be democratic.”

Klaus Iohannis said that the changing of the current law depends on the parliamentary parties and the Government, and added he wishes both to find “the wisest solution.”

“The idea is very good, of course. The question is if it is still possible to change the law so shortly before the elections. This is a decision in the Parliamentary parties’ hands, and in a certain measure, in the Government’s. I wish them to find the wisest solution,” the Head of State said.

Ciolos: We are taking into account all possibilities, including assuming responsibility for the local elections law

Present in Iasi on the Union of Romanian Principalities Day, Premier Dacian Ciolos stated he will talk with the parties over the issue of modifying the law in order for mayors to be elected in two rounds of elections, stating that all possibilities are taken into account, including that of the Government assuming responsibility in Parliament.

When leaving the ‘Three Hierarchs’ Church in Iasi, where he attended a religious service, Premier Dacian Ciolos was asked by journalists whether he is taking into account the possibility of issuing an emergency ordinance on the topic of the two-round local elections. Ciolos answered by saying all possibilities are being taken into account, the Mediafax correspondent informs.

“We are studying all possibilities,” the Premier pointed out, referring also to the option of assuming responsibility in Parliament over this topic.

Dacian Ciolos stated that he would talk with the political parties about the voting system that will be adopted for this year’s local elections.

The Premier made these statements shortly after President Klaus Iohannis stated that the idea of electing mayors in two rounds is “very good,” but that the question is whether the law could still be changed so shortly before the elections.

Last week, PNL asked the Premier to issue an emergency government ordinance that would modify the law by reverting it back to the two-round voting system for mayors, a system that had been in place until 2012. Dacian Ciolos told the Liberals that he does not believe it is democratic to modify through emergency ordinance a political law adopted by Parliament.
Constitutional Court (CCR) President August Zegrea stated recently that the Basic Law only demands free and fair elections, irrespective of whether they consist of one, two or ten rounds.

Last year, Parliament adopted a package of electoral laws and upheld the stipulation currently in force, namely the one-round voting system for mayors, a system that PSD and PNL backed at the time. The Social Democrats continue to support this system and invoke that the legislation can no longer be amended several months before the elections.

Liberals’ appeal to PSD: Accept the renewal of the political class

PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu asked PSD President Liviu Dragnea on Saturday “to show solidarity with the Romanians who want real competition in the local elections” and to accept the idea of two-round elections for the city halls. “We have the obligation to renew the political class. I believe this cannot be done if we stubbornly go ahead with the same voting system for mayors, featuring one round. I invite PSD leader Liviu Dragnea to be brave tomorrow, the Union of Principalities Day, to show solidarity with the Romanians, with the Romanian society that wants competition, legitimacy and representativity for the local elections,” the PNL Co-President said on Saturday.

According to her, January 24, the Union of Principalities Day, would be the best moment to be able to find out the answer to whether “the left wing accepts the idea of renewing the political class.” At the same time, Gorghiu stated that from her point of view the topic of the two-round local elections does not represent “a polemic” with Premier Dacian Ciolos or with PSD. “We are not having a conflict or polemic with the Prime Minister. The topic does not represent a polemic, not even with PSD. We are trying to find support in order to promote something that society wants,” PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated, Agerpres informs.

PNL’s proposal to modify the local elections law affects PSD the most

PNL’s proposal to modify the local elections law by introducing the two-round voting system for mayors affects PSD the most, the latter being a party with many mayors in office. The two-round voting system would allow the other parties to ally against PSD, just like it happened in the Presidential elections when Victor Ponta won the first round with a comfortable lead but dramatically lost the runoff.

So far, PSD and UNPR are the only parties that openly oppose this idea.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) has thus become, overnight, a key-player in Parliament in what is the informal start of the elections campaign for this year’s local elections, while the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) has received an unhoped-for gift with which it can “blackmail” PSD. In this context, PSD President Liviu Dragnea seems to be the actor with the most serious problems, a stiripesurse.ro analysis notes.

Unfortunately for Liviu Dragnea, UNPR’s help is not sufficient. In the Lower Chamber PSD and UNPR have 180 lawmakers and need 202 lawmakers to have a majority. In the Senate, PSD and UNPR have 81 lawmakers and need 83 to have a majority.

ALDE thus becomes the key-player in both cases, having 24 Lower Chamber lawmakers and 13 Senators. Both PSD and PNL need ALDE’s votes to form a majority, but Tariceanu has stated he agrees with the two-round voting system for mayors. ALDE has already announced it will run on its own lists in the local elections, so it is not influenced by PSD’s strategic decisions. Moreover, Tariceanu could receive PNL’s unofficial promise to support his stint as Senate Speaker if he votes in favour of the two-round voting system, this being another reason of concern for PSD. In this context, it becomes increasingly difficult for Liviu Dragnea to convince Tariceanu not to side with PNL this time.

The situation is becoming even more complicated for PSD because its ally UNPR will most likely use this context to raise unrealistic pretentions in what concerns its presence on joint lists in the local elections this year.

UNPR President Gabriel Oprea stated on Sunday evening for stiripesurse.ro that he will take the final decision at the end of this week, at UNPR’s national meeting, and this decision will come in the same package with joint lists with PSD.

All political actors are currently having an advantage over Liviu Dragnea. It remains to be see what “aces” PSD will look for up its sleeve in order to put a stop to the steamroller that has been set in motion in favour of the two-round voting system for mayors.

Basescu: PSD and PNL have to agree on two-round elections issue. Ciolos is respecting a political agreement

Former President Traian Basescu, leader of the Popular Movement (MP), has stated that PSD and PNL, Parliament’s two large parties, have to reach an agreement on whether they want to revert to the two-round voting system in the local elections.

“This is a sort of Phariseeism. They jointly adopted one-round elections. PNL knows that PSD, which holds the majority in Parliament, will immediate table a motion against Ciolos if he fails to respect the agreement. And Ciolos is stating very correctly: “Ms. Gorghiu, go and reach an agreement with Dragnea and, if you agree on wanting a two-round voting system – when I came you had a one-round voting system – you asked President Iohannis to promulgate the one-round law. Now you have realized you cannot win the Bucharest City Hall and you want two rounds. You, the parliamentary parties, but not all, the Liberals and the Socialists, should reach an agreement. If you do, I will issue an emergency ordinance tomorrow. But don’t put me in the situation of rendering fragile the Government, which could receive a no-confidence motion, because you changed your mind,” Traian Basescu stated on Sunday at the Conference of the Romanian Diaspora at the Palace of Parliament.

“When Ciolos filed the first programme, it included the return to the two-round voting system,” the former Head of State reminded.

“We saw it, we all saw it at the party. When he filed the second programme, it disappeared because precisely those two large parties asked him to remove the two-round voting system. So we blame Ciolos for naught, because he relies on a political agreement. He found a situation. The two parties that could topple the Government have to reach an agreement,” Basescu emphasized.

Related posts

Deputies’ Chamber admitted the reexamination request on the incompatibilities of the people’s representatives

Nine O' Clock

Liberal leaders, foreign ambassadors hold meeting with “pronounced technical character” on the bill on voting by mail

Nine O' Clock

Basescu: Unemployment is rising

Nine O' Clock
WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com