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January 17, 2022

PSD’s Dragnea suspects PNL, USR of election rigging attempts, Ciolos says G’ovt will do everything in its power to ensure fair elections

Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea maintains there are election rigging suspicions regarding the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR) and added that there are young persons hired by the Government, who had initially been volunteers and who keep posting data for Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.

“I am asking both the state institutions in charge with the elections and those working with those institutions not to think that these technocrats are there forever, and that anything in breach of the law will have to be penalised right by those with these institutions after the elections. Even if they were given the impression that they are under a protection umbrella, both those with the government and those with county institutions should not let themselves fooled, because they will all be held accountable,” Dragnea told Romania TV private television broadcaster.

Asked where his suspicions are directed to, the PSD leader showed that they are “directed towards everything that means the current power.”

“(…) One can mention election rigging, because there is a group of young people hired by the Government, who had initially been volunteers, now I understood a bonus worth 2,000 – 3,000 euro per month was approved for them, and initially it was said that they came there to work on a computerising programme, but the people in the Government are quite scared, who had been there for years, say that in fact these youth are posting data for Dacian Ciolos, for the PNL and the USR. Can anyone tell us what those guys are doing there? What have they done so far? Why are they paid from public money? Why do they work in the Government building? Can [the prime minister] show us by tomorrow what they have done? They should not be under the impression that if they posted data online or worked on the internet these things can be deleted. They are not deleted. (…) They don’t want to win the elections, because they cannot. They have some important targets – to cut down as much as they can the PSD percentage, which matters, for a possible vote of confidence (…) to have a lower legitimacy. 4 – 5 percent extra for the PNL and the USR make these two parties have more. Therefore this is what they are aiming at, and people from the PNL are saying that,” Dragnea maintained.

According to him, there are two key institutions in organising the elections in Romania, the Interior Ministry and the Permanent Electoral Authority – the activity of which concerns him from the parliamentary elections point of view.

He also said that “those with the PNL are moving and acting with no fear that the Interior Ministry representatives would at least scold them to make them come back to observing the law.”


ALDE’s Tariceanu on possibility of parliamentary election rigging: I start to be concerned


Co-Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Sunday, on the Romania TV private television station that he is concerned regarding the possibility of parliamentary elections being rigged.

“The moment I have seen what we all know, namely the arrest of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) President, I can only tell you that I started to be concerned, and not only me. I have spoken with colleagues from the political area and from other parties, and we all share the same concern,” Tariceanu stated, when asked if he is afraid of a possible fraud of the elections.

He added that the fact there are cases which lay in prosecutor’s drawers and which are taken out in election campaign is unnatural.”

“It’s totally unnatural, especially that we stumble upon the same thing: cases that lay in prosecutor’s drawers for 8 years and that are taken out now, during the election campaign, precisely now, not a week after, or a week prior,” Tariceanu pointed out.

Former President of the AEP Ana Maria Patru was placed under pre-trial arrest on Wednesday evening, in a case in which she is charged with committing three offenses of influence peddling and two offenses of money laundering.


Ciolos: Government will do everything in its power to ensure fair elections


Premier Dacian Ciolos assured Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea on Monday that his Government is doing “everything in its power” to ensure the fairness of the electoral process, while at the same time accusing the PSD President of seeking to sow “fear and doubt” by talking about possible voter fraud.

“I understand Mr. Liviu Dragnea is concerned with the possible rigging of parliamentary elections. I know he is a man experienced in organising elections and I also know that in the past not everything went well from this standpoint. I want to assure Romanians the following. Yes, this Government is doing everything in its power to limit to a minimum the possibilities of voter fraud. Yes, this Government has already successfully implemented during the local elections an electronic voter turnout monitoring system which easily detects multiple voting attempts. The same system will be used in the parliamentary elections too. Yes, this Government has opted for video surveillance within polling stations after the voting ends, to make sure the vote counting process is taking place correctly. Yes, this Government has decided to seal the stamps immediately after the end of the voting process, to make sure they would no longer be used after the ballot boxes are closed. Yes, this Government has decided to open more polling stations abroad, to make sure Romanians living abroad will no longer queue for hours on end in order to exercise a fundamental right,” Ciolos wrote on Facebook.

He pointed out the Government has taken “the responsibility of organising fair elections” and will do so. At the same time, Ciolos reiterated that the Interior Ministry has already invited political parties to send their representatives and witness all the preparations being made.

“The invitation continues to stand. We acted and we will continue to act transparently. The Standing Electoral Authority is subordinated to Parliament, not to Government. That is why, if Mr. Dragnea is concerned about the stability of this institution, he has the possibility to mobilise his party and appoint a new AEP President. If he has suspicions about the vote counting software, he can ask Parliament to clarify these things directly with AEP’s leadership,” Ciolos added.

In the Premier’s opinion, the PSD leader has the tendency to sow fear and doubt in order to use them in the elections campaign.

“I notice you have the tendency to sow fear and doubt in people’s souls, in order to subsequently climb on their fears during the electoral battle. I refrain from interpreting your statements about “justice all the way.” I assure you however that this Government supports the judiciary precisely so that intimidation attempts would no longer have a place in an elections campaign. I believe that, instead of fear and hatred, the time has come for the leaders of this country to sow hope and optimism that doing things differently is possible: without lies, without populism, without corruption. You too, Mr. Dragnea, should dare believe,” Ciolos concluded.


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