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June 18, 2021

PM Dacian Ciolos to discuss local elections with leaders of main political parties

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos will meet the leaders of the main political future in the near future, possibly on Monday or Tuesday, to discuss the topic of Mayors’ elections, Government spokesperson Dan Suciu announced on Wednesday.

Dan Suciu made this statement at the end of the weekly meeting of the Government as an answer to the attending journalists’ questions, who wished to know whether the Prime Minister discussed the topic of local elections with political leaders.

“In the next few days, the Prime Minister will have a discussion with the leaders of the parties on this topic. Possibly on Monday or Tuesday”, the Government spokesperson declared.
Besides PNL, it was just the Popular Movement that expressed their firm option for two-round local elections.

PSD and UDMR made it quite clear that they were for electing Mayors in one round. UNPR, presently seeking to run on PSD lists, has no official position yet.

Dragnea, on two round-elections: We risk making the country explode

Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea declared on Thursday in Sinaia, referring to the Liberals’ proposal concerning two-round local elections, which he described as a “whim”, that there was a risk of jeopardizing Romania’s stability.

“Also, let us discuss our position concerning this Liberal whim related to two-round elections for Mayors. If we grant them two rounds today, they might want three rounds tomorrow. (…) We risk to a great extent making the country explode. At this point, Romania is an island of stability appreciated by absolutely everyone in the area and, in order to get the Mayoralty of Bucharest, these people are even willing to jeopardize this stability, that is so beneficial to us”, Dragnea declared at the meeting of the PSD group in the Chamber of Deputies.

PSD, by Liviu Dragnea’s voice, announced that the political adversaries of PSD were putting pressure on the Government to change electoral laws, showing that the party they lead may even consider boycotting local elections.

Alina Gorghiu: “PSD, a specialist in restricting democracy and in electoral abuse”

National Liberal Party (PNL) Co-chair Alina Gorghiu declared about the threat made by PSD concerning the boycott of local elections, that it was a “predictable intention”, as Social-Democrats were “specialists in restricting democracy and in electoral abuse”

“The intention of PSD to boycott elections is a predictable attitude. Social-Democrats are specialists in restricting democracy and in electoral abuse. When PSD are not not restricting other people’s electoral rights, they are restricting their own”, Gorghiu wrote on Facebook.

PNL demanded the Public Attorney to attack at the Constitutional Court the article in the law for electing the authorities of local public administration, that stipulates Mayors would be elected in only one round.

Initiative Romania wants two-round elections

Initiative Romania issued on Thursday an open letter to the President, Prime Minister and chairmen of the two Parliament Chambers, demanding them to notify as soon as possible the Venice Commission on returning to two-round local elections.

The representatives of the civic movement stressed out the fact that a decision on this matter must be reached as soon as possible, as the data for local elections was already set on June 5 and the Venice Commission may only be notified and requested a point of view by the Parliament, Government or the Head of the State, Ziare.com reports.

“The Romanian society deserves to have a word to say in the good government of their country and you will prove me, by sending this letter, that you are able to listen to what Romanians have to say and that you are willing to help them get an answer. We will also send this letter to the Venice Commission but, formally, you have the institutional quality to notify it in order to get an opinion”, the mentioned press release announces.

Initiative Romania supported as early as December the idea of returning to two-round voting elections and presented publicly a list of juridical arguments, supported afterwards both “in front of the Presidency and of the Romanian Government”.

Daniel Constantin, ALDE: “Any version may be analysed”

Although ALDE has initially declared its support for two-round elections, public statements made by Calin Popescu Tariceanu in the last few days were more reserved. Nonetheless, co-chair of the political group Daniel Constantin declared that the two rounds “would benefit our party a lot”.
“Any version may be analysed – and I have seen the Prime Minister’s engagement in this direction, but I have never heard anything new since we discussed it in Iasi, which means he did not summon us, or other parties, and I have not seen any action in this direction at the level of the Parliament. I already fear it is an electoral pretext and not necessarily a solid fact”, Constantin admitted.

UDMR, worried by the change of electoral laws

Hunor Kelemen fears that the next few weeks would determine changes in Romania’s electoral laws and local elections in June might be held in two rounds.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, in Cluj-Napoca, the President of UDMR expressed his worry concerning the fact that the National Liberal Party wished to change electoral laws three months before the start of the electoral campaign, and the Social Democrat Party showed no signs that they would oppose this initiative.
Hunor Kelemen declared that approximately 10 per cent of the Mayor positions UDMR might win depend on whether local elections would be held in one or two voting rounds. In case there are two voting rounds, there is the possibility of coalitions against Hungarian candidates by UDMR left in the electoral race”, Hunor Kelemen mentioned.

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