POLITICS ROMANIAN DIASPORA

AEP’s Muhulet: 1,007 applications for postal voting, 334 for polling stations in general election

Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) Marian Muhulet said Tuesday that there are 1,007 applications for postal voting and 334 requests for the establishment of new polling stations for this year’s general election in Romania.

“I can tell you that we now have 1,007 applications for postal voting and 334 requests for new polling stations, which does not mean we will set up three polling stations more, but that 334 requests from around the world have so far been filed. Currently, we are in no position to establish additional polling stations upon request right now. But, data are available and accessible to any citizen; we are encouraging the citizens to file such requests because voting under the best circumstances, as provided for under laws 288 and 208 approved by Parliament last year, is their constitutional right,” Muhulet told a news conference.

He added that Romanians abroad are currently more favoured in terms of the entitlement to vote than the Romanians at home.

“There is discrimination in their favour and it is their duty to know and get to know by asking Romania’s diplomatic missions, consular offices, embassies, and the Romanian Cultural Institutes where they can find all the information they need. They can get their information from there, they can download the applications for postal voting or for casting ballots at a polling station closer to their residence or domicile and send them in due course,” said Muhulet.

He added that polling stations will be set up at the diplomatic missions as well as where the citizens so demand, and that at least 100 Romanian nationals with a domicile or residence abroad should gather by registration with the electoral roll.

Asked whether there are estimates of the Romanian nationals entitled to vote abroad in this autumn’s general election, Muhulet said there are no official estimates. “Officially, there is an estimate of 500,000 Romanian nationals with a domicile abroad who own a Romanian passport with a domicile abroad,” said Muhulet.

Also attending the news conference was Minister-delegate for Relations with Romanians Abroad Dan Stoenescu, who urged the Romanian diaspora to register with the electoral roll to be allowed to cast ballots in this year’s general election.

He added that Romanians abroad may file the applications by late August – early September.

Both AEP Deputy-Chairman Muhulet and officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) called on the Government to issue a decision to set the election day as soon as possible.

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