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April 19, 2021

Coalition for Gender Equality: 19 party lists with no women, in violation of electoral law

There are 19 party lists that do not respect the electoral law, consisting exclusively of men, shows a report authored by the Coalition for Gender Equality.

Women make up almost a third of the candidates in the parliamentary elections of 2016 (29 percent), as shown by the Coalition’s analysis of the party lists filed for the December 11th parliamentary elections. Included in the analysis were the lists of nationwide parties (11 political parties), as well as independent candidates. The lists of local parties (such as the Green Party, PACT, BUN, Our Vrancea Party etc.) and the lists filed by ethnic minorities’ organisations were not included in the analysis.

The share held by female candidates in the lists of the 11 political parties analysed is: 28 percent on the lists for the Lower Chamber and 32 percent on the lists for the Senate.

“It is worrisome that the electoral law which forces political parties to have both genders represented on party lists (at least one woman/at least one man) was broken in several electoral districts, and this has not been flagged by any public institution so far. We noticed there are party lists at electoral district level that do not observe law no.208/2015 on electing the members of the Senate and the Lower Chamber and on the establishment and functioning of the Standing Electoral Authority, which stipulates in Article 52, Paragraph 2: ‘The list of candidates for the election of Senators and Lower Chamber lawmakers must be drafted so as to ensure the representation of both genders, with the exception of the lists with a single candidate,’” the Coalition for Gender Equality warns.

The party lists that consist exclusively of male candidates, admitted by the local electoral offices, were filed by: ALDE Alba, Buzau and Diaspora; USR Dambovita, PMP Ialomita, PER Bucharest (Lower Chamber), PNL Covasna, PRU Alba, PRU Mehedinti, PRM Alba, PRM Dolj and PRM Harghita, PER Buzau, PER Dambovita, PMP Harghita, PMP Ialomita and PMP Sibiu (Senate).

“We are asking the local electoral offices and the Central Electoral Office to explain the reasons why the lists were admitted despite not meeting the conditions set by the electoral law,” demands the Coalition.

When it comes to the political parties, women are best represented, as a share of total candidates, within the Romanian Socialist Party (41.5 percent), and poorest represented within the Popular Movement Party (24 percent). Among independent candidates, only 7 of the 37 candidates are women (19 percent). All seven are running for the Lower Chamber.

According to the report, women represent 29 percent of the candidates on the Social Democratic Party (PSD) lists for both Chambers of Parliament. That is 10 percentage points below the estimations of some Social Democrat leaders, including those of PSD President Liviu Dragnea. Women represent 26 percent of the candidates on National Liberal Party (PNL) lists, against the backdrop in which the party’s leaders, headed by party president Alina Gorghiu, had filed a bill that would have obliged political parties to make sure at least one third of the candidates included on party lists are women.

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