The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informed on Saturday that the addresses of nine polling stations to be organised abroad during the elections to the European Parliament and the national referendum on 26 May were changed “as a result of some unforeseen situations or objective causes.”
MAE points out that the total number of polling stations to be organized abroad remains the same, 441, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps identifying in “due” time the spaces necessary for moving some polling stations.
“Following the publication in the Official Journal of the Order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs 730/2019 on the numbering of the polling stations abroad at the elections for the Romanian members in the European Parliament on May 26, 2019, it was found that for some stations, the address of the location was changed for objective reasons. The diplomatic missions that proposed the respective polling stations faced the unilateral decisions of the local public authorities to terminate the lease agreements concluded for the organization of the polling stations, to change the agreed location and initially attributed to the organization of the polling stations to a location that provided improper conditions for the conduct of the electoral process. There were also situations in which the public institutions where halls had been rented for the organization of polling stations had old, outdated addresses or even communicated, in official addresses to missions, incomplete or erroneous addresses,” MAE informs in a press release.
Thus, in the case of the polling station no. 44 in Calgary, the public authorities informed the Honorary Consul of Romania in Calgary that the building where the community center works where the polling station was due to be organized will enter into capital repairs and terminated the lease agreement.
The Romanian Consulate in Castellon de la Plana also faced a similar situation, which was notified on 8 May 2019 by the local authorities in Alicante regarding their decision to cancel the initial lease agreed for a hall due to host the polling station and move the location to another space where they proposed the setting up of the polling station in the same room with a polling station organized by Bulgaria.
“Given that the respective hall provided improper conditions for the optimal conduct of the electoral process, the Consulate of Romania in Castellon de la Plana had to rent another space for the polling station in another building. There were also cases in which unforeseen circumstances led to the need to rent another headquarters for the organization of a polling station. One of the stations organized in the US was to operate in a building owned by an honorary consul who, due to unforeseen personal problems, could not make available the respective building. As a result, the respective diplomatic mission had to identify another space for the organization of the polling station,” informs the same source.
MAE also mentions the situation of a polling station in Italy, where the local authorities informed the Consulate General in Bologna that the correct address of the building for which they agreed in view of the establishment of the polling station no. 185 Siena is Via B. Tolomei no. 7, instead of no. 5 that wrongly appeared in previous communications.
A similar situation was recorded in the case of polling station no. 117 in Hamburg, for which the company renting the polling station communicated only on May 14, 2019 that the street number of the address transmitted in all previous communications was wrongly written.
“Following the emergence of such objective and unpredictable situations, the diplomatic missions of Romania in cause took all the necessary measures in the shortest time to find alternative locations for the respective polling stations in order to keep the same number of polling stations, so that as many Romanian voters as possible abroad can exercise their right to vote in the elections on 26 May 2019. The members of the Diplomatic Corps responsible for organizing and conducting the elections of May 2019 abroad promptly informed in view of correcting the errors occurred in the case of some polling stations. In these circumstances, in order to ensure a correct and complete information of the public opinion on the exact addresses of the polling stations abroad, by order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs issued on 16 May 2019, the nine addresses were properly changed,” MAE further says in a press release.
The list of polling stations, with the updated addresses, can be consulted on the MAE website at: http://www.mae.ro/node/48090.