POLITICS

Liberals ask Government to hike number of polling stations abroad

PNL adopted on Monday a resolution asking the Government to issue an emergency ordinance hiking the number of polling stations abroad. The Liberals want the ordinance to also introduce the possibility of sending online the request to be registered for postal voting.

The Liberals asked the Government to adopt and publish “in the shortest of time” an emergency ordinance “amending Law 208/2015 on parliamentary elections, so that apart from polling stations located within embassies and consulates the Foreign Affairs Ministry would also open a number of polling station at least equal to the one registered in the runoff of the presidential elections of 2014, bearing in mind the size of the Romanian communities abroad.”

PNL wants the emergency ordinance to also stipulate the amendment of Law 288/2015 on postal voting, so that any registration procedure as well as any request to be transmissible by email.

Liberals also ask for “the regulations concerning polling stations abroad, in the case of polling stations opened at the request of at least 100 voters, to stipulate that all Romanian citizens residing in the locality or group of localities allocated to that station would have the right to vote at that polling station regardless of whether they signed or not the request to have the polling station opened.”

At the same time, PNL is asking the public broadcaster to promote the campaign by including the Foreign Ministry’s public service announcements in its news programmes.

Premier Dacian Ciolos has asked Maria Ligor, Delegated Diaspora Minister, to come up as rapidly as possible with a set of measures for the diaspora vote, expressing his concern over the very small number of Romanians who have registered with the Electoral Register.

Only 3,090 Romanians have registered with the Electoral Register, 2,371 of whom have selected postal voting as their method of choice and 719 have expressed their intention to vote at polling stations, the Standing Electoral Authority announced on Tuesday.

The parliamentary elections that will most likely take place in December are the first to feature postal voting.

 

Ex-president Traian Basescu: Postal voting law will be a big failure

 

Ex-president Traian Basescu wrote on his Facebook page that the postal voting law will be “a big failure” and proposed as a solution the setting up of 1,500 – 2,000 polling stations abroad.

“Members of the government, prevent a disaster at the parliamentary elections! It’s obvious that the postal voting law will be a big failure. Romanians living abroad are not registering with the electoral register. I’ve talked with many who are working abroad and their explanation is very simple: on one hand distrust in the system proposed and on the other fear that by declaring their residence at one point they could end up having to pay who knows what income taxes to the Romanian state. Moreover, plenty of them are working illegally, but this cannot deprive them of the right to vote. In conclusion, the system will not work and the political responsibility will fall on those who promised postal voting. The solution to prevent a predictable disaster is the classical one – setting up around 1,500 to 2,000 polling stations,” Traian Basescu wrote on his Facebook page.

“In order to avoid controversies, the postal voting law should remain in force, giving the opportunity to choose the voting method, and the Standing Electoral Authority should verify the possible multiple votes cast through both systems. Otherwise, justifiably so, Romanians living abroad will believe that the Romanian state has limited their voting rights. A repeat of the democratic and media disaster of 2014 has to be prevented. The measures have to be taken fast,” Basescu claims.

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