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February 8, 2023

PNL submits to Parliament draft law for returning to voting in two rounds for the election of mayors

Liberals have submitted to the Senate a draft law on the election of mayors in two rounds, claiming that the voting in a single round with the vote of the majority of those who come at the polls “is a totally wrong solution” and it doesn’t provide legitimacy “to the community’s manager”.

Daft law for returning to voting in two rounds for the election of mayors, submitted to Parliament

“The candidate receiving the majority of the votes that are validly expressed will be declared as the mayor. If none of the candidates hasn’t reach the majority of the votes validly expressed, which has to be recorded in the minutes concluded by the constituency’s electoral bureau, the second round of voting will be organized”, according to the draft law amending the Law 115/2015 on electing the local public administration authorities, the Law of the local public administration no.215/2001 and the Law no.393/2004 on the Statute of the local representatives.

In the second round of voting, held two weeks after the first round, only those candidates who were placed on the first two places will participate, namely the candidates in case of a tie, according to the draft law submitted by the Liberal parliamentarians.

“In the second round of voting, the candidate who received the largest number of votes validly expressed will be declared as the mayor. For the mayor position, the centralization of the votes will be performed by the constituency’s electoral bureau”, provides the legislative initiative.

Electing the mayor in a single round, with the vote of the majority of those who come to the pols “is a totally wrong legislative solution”, claims the PNL MP Victor Paul Dobre, in the explanatory memorandum of the draft law.

“In this case, the elected person will not have legitimacy. There can be circumstances, especially when the turnout is low, when the mayor of a locality is elected by a very small number of votes. Beyond the low legitimacy of the elected person, this may easily lead to the artificial driving of the vote by groups of people within/outside the community, thus breaching all the fundamental principles established by this regulation, and in this case we can even talk by constitutional consequences”, says the Liberal.

The PNL MP says that electing the mayor in a single round has replaced the previous system in which it was elected in two rounds, “a legislative solution which became a normality established by the Romanian law and which gained a major recognition of the society over the time”.

“In this context, we appreciate there is absolutely necessary to return to the system of the mayor’s election in two rounds of voting, a legislative and technical solution with a higher level of legitimacy for the elected person, as well as a higher fairness in establishing who is the community’s manager”, says the Liberal.

The draft law is signed by more than 40 PNL parliamentarians, including the former President of the party, Alina Gorghiu.

The first notified Chamber is the Senate.

In 2016, PNL requested PM Dacian Ciolos to issue a GEO to return to the election of the mayor in two rounds, but he didn’t answer to the Liberals’ request.

On February 12, 2016, Liberals submitted a preliminary complaint to the Secretary General of the Government by which they informed him they will attack the Government’s Decision establishing the date of the local elections.

PNL’s approach was the only procedural way that the party had to discuss the law on the local elections, namely organizing them in a single round; the law could be challenged to CCR only within a trial in front of the courts, or directly, by the Ombudsman, according to the party’s lawyers.

On April 15, 2016, Bucharest Court of Appeal rejected PNL’s complaint on the organization of the local elections in two rounds, but the decision wasn’t final.

Although PNL made approaches before the court in order to challenge the law on the local elections to CCR, the case has been discussed by the Court as a result of a complaint submitted by journalist Liviu Avram.

In May, 2016, CCR judges rejected journalist Liviu Avram’s complaint on organizing the local elections in a single round. CCR President of that time, Augustin Zegrean, stated that the complaint has been “rejected as unfounded”, and the Parliament is the one who has the duty to establish the electoral law and the ways of organizing the elections.

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