Ciolos Government allocated the total amount of RON 227.7 million for the proper organization of the parliamentary elections of December 11, 2016, the funds being shared between the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Electoral Authority, the Special Telecommunications Service and the National Institute of Statistics. Compared to 2004, when the last parliamentary elections on the party lists were organized, the cost of the elections is now three times higher.
After 12 years, Romanian people will vote again their senators and deputies on the party list, after two election cycles of experimenting the uninominal vote. Another similarity between the elections in 2016 and the ones in 2004 refers to the number of those entering the Parliament: 466 people in 2016, compared to 469 people in 2004. However, the amount allocated for organizing the elections is three times higher in 2016 than in 2004.
In 2004, the parliamentary elections were simultaneously held with the presidential ones. The double elections caused expenses of RON 75.84 from the state budget, according to a report performed by the Central Electoral Bureau at that time.
In 2008, the Tariceanu Government allocated RON 100 million for organizing the first parliamentary elections in the uninominal system. Four years later, in 2012, the Ponta Government almost doubled the allocated amount: RON 199 million. Now, the Ciolos Government raises the amount, by allocating RON 227.7 million, although only few weeks ago, on the occasion of the budgetary rectification, the considered amount was RON 200 million.
We have to mention that, theoretically speaking, there is a possibility that the entire amount doesn’t have to be spent, in which case the rest of the money will return to the Budget Reserve Fund at the Government’s disposal.
Gov’t approves more than RON 227 million for organizing the parliamentary elections
In the last meeting, the Government has adopted three decisions related to the organization of the parliamentary elections, approving the total amount of RON 227.7 million, the timing of the actions in the electoral period, as well as the technical measures for the organization and conduct of the parliamentary elections.
“The Government has adopted three decisions setting out the technical measures required for the proper organization and conduct of the elections for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in 2016, the timing of the actions in the electoral period, as well as the necessary expenses for the preparation and smooth conduct of the elections”, according to a press release.
Thus, the electoral campaign will take place between November 11 and December 10 and the permanent electoral lists will be drawn up no later than 3 days before the elections, namely no later than December 8.
“For the proper organization of the elections for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in 2016, the amount of RON 227.7 million was approved. The necessary funds are provided in the budgets of MAI, MAE, AEP, STS, INS, by categories of expenditures”, reads the document.
Regarding the technical measures required for the proper organization and conduct of the elections for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, the legal document details the attributions and the duties of the Permanent Electoral Authority, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Health Ministry, General Secretariat of the Government, National Institute of Statistics, Special Telecommunication Service, “Official Journal” Autonomous Administration, prefect institutions, mayors and chairmen of the county councils.
Romanians living abroad will be also able to vote on additional lists. There will be more polling stations
Last week, the Government adopted the GEO according to which Romanians living abroad will also be able to vote on additional lists, without being registered in the electoral register, and MAE will propose to AEP to create new polling stations, even there aren’t at least 100 requests in this regard.
“We have adopted by GEO amendments to the rules for organizing the elections for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. We have mainly adopted special measures for organizing these elections in December 2016, in order to solve two things that we’ve identified as technical obstacles in exercising the right to vote. We are talking about the fact that, besides the possibility to organize polling stations at the diplomatic missions, embassies, consulates or cultural institutes and polling stations at the request of at least 100 voters registered with this option in the Electoral Register, we have created the possibility to create polling stations where they were previously created and where, depending on the information we hold, there is a significant presence of the Romanian people, at the MAE’s proposal”, stated the Minister – Delegate for Relations with Romanians Abroad, Ana Maria Ligor.
She also said that these polling stations will be integrated in the final list with polling stations abroad, which will be established by AEP.
“The second amendment we will introduce regards the possibility for the Romanian people having the domicile or the residence abroad to be able to vote at any polling station abroad, including the possibility to be registered in the additional lists, regardless of the polling station where they will come to vote. This was a difficulty until today and we’ve tried to remove this obstacle”, Ligor added.
She also said that, in the matter of the additional lists, the main existing concern was related to the possibility of having double or multiple vote.
“The Law 208 provides very clear that the identity of the voter is checked by electronic means, and this eventuality of the double or multiple vote is removed”, said Ligor.
The Minister – Delegate for Relations with Romanians Abroad stated that Romanian people not registered in the electronic register will also be able to vote.
“Those who register themselves in the Electoral Register are the voters exercising their right to vote by correspondence, or they opt for creating a polling station where they live. But in order for the said polling station to be possible to be created, there must be at least 100 people opting this way in that locality. Unfortunately, until today we only have a single case of this kind, namely we have a locality were 100 voters expressed their wish to vote at a polling station organized there”, mentioned Ana Maria Ligor.
She added that the GEO stipulates also the establishment of some polling stations where there are not at least 100 requests in this regard.
“We currently have the possibility to establish polling stations starting from a set of estimations provided by MAE, firstly aiming the polling stations that existed in the past. Then, depending on the dynamic of the presence of the Romanians living abroad, the turnout in previous elections, the associated costs and the list that we’ll set, we will consider all of these matters”, stated Ligor.
According to the Minister – Delegate for Relations with Romanians Abroad, the third amendment refers to the possibility for the application request in the electoral register and the copies of the documents to be sent by electronic means.
Ana Maria Ligor also said that the date until which Romanians living abroad may register in the electoral register is September 14.