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September 18, 2019
POLITICS

Elections with record participation of Romanians to the ballot, and with huge political surprises. Referendum crosses validation threshold. Exit-poll CURS-Avangarde: PSD, PNL tied at 25.8 pct, USR PLUS Alliance -23.9 pct. President Iohannis: Turnout sensational; vote cannot be ignored by any politician in Romania

Sunday was an important day for Romanians. Alongside the citizens of 20 other states, they were called to the polls to elect their representatives in the next European Parliament. At the same time, also on Sunday, Romanians were expected to vote in the referendum on the judiciary, triggered by President Klaus Iohannis.

As early as 5 p.m., the voter turnout had surpassed the overall voter turnout level registered in the European Parliament elections of 2014, namely 32.16 per cent. Likewise, it far surpassed the one registered in the general elections of 2016, which stood at 34.39 per cent at 6 p.m.

The voting in the Diaspora was the big problem, long lines forming outside polling stations abroad. For this reason, both President Iohannis and the Opposition criticised the Government for the way it organised the electoral process and demanded urgent solutions that would allow all Romanians to exercise their right to vote.

The Social Democrat Party (PSD) obtained 25.8 percent of the votes cast in the European Parliament elections on Sunday, the National Liberal Party (PNL) – 25.8 percent, the 2020 USR PLUS Alliance (formed by the Save Romania Union – USR and the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party – PLUS) – 23.9 percent, according to the exit-poll conducted by the Center for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS) and the Avangarde Group for Social-Behavioural Studies.

The data presents the situation at 19:30, the authors of the research mention in a press release.

The Pro Romania Party obtained 5.7 percent, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) – 5.4 percent, the People’s Movement Party (PMP) – 5.2 percent, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) – 4.9 percent. The other parties totaled 3.3 percent of options.

The sample for the exit-poll was formed by 400 polling stations. It was stratified into urban and rural environments and in historical regions. As many as 450 polling agents, data operators and experts were used to conduct the study.

The number of persons interviewed was over 20.000. The rate of refusal to respond to the questionnaire was around 18 pct. Given the rate of refusal and other difficulties in the polling stations, not of the polling institutions volition, the theoretical margin for error is +/- 2 pct, at a trust rate of 95 pct, the authors mention.

The sample for the exit-poll did not include polling stations abroad.

 

President Iohannis: Turnout sensational; vote cannot be ignored by any politician in Romania

 

President Klaus Iohannis stated that the turnout in the elections for the European Parliament and in the referendum was sensational, adding that Romanians cast a clear and firm vote that cannot be ignored by any politician.

“The turnout is sensational. We have around 50 pct turnout for the European Parliament elections and around 40 pct for the referendum. Dear Romanians, I thank you for giving a clear, firm vote that cannot be ignored by any politician in Romania. The referendum passed with flying colors. You voted clearly and firmly for fair politics, for an independent judiciary, for a good governance for Romanians and Romania. I thank you for this turnout at the referendum I called,” Iohannis said, in a press statement at the Cotroceni Palace.

“Following this result, the PSD [Social Democrat Party] government must go. It’s a result that cannot be interpreted in any other way,” Iohannis added.

 

Orban: No political leader should dare talk about amnesty or pardon

 

Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said on Sunday evening, after the announcement of the exit-poll results, that no political leader should talk about amnesty or pardon any longer.

“As of today, no political leader shouldn’t dare any longer talk about amnesty, pardon, or the destruction of justice by means of emergency ordinances. I thank the Romanian citizens who came to the vote and who voted for PNL. I am convinced that, after counting the votes, PNL will rank first in the European Parliament elections. (…) I congratulate our Opposition partners on the very good result achieved, alongside whom it is clear that at the moment we have a majority in favor of a legitimate government, that truly represents the citizens. As far as the others are concerned, I clearly tell those who are governing today – go home quickly, hand in your resignation tomorrow, otherwise you will be cast aside by the people. Today’s vote clearly shows that the current majority coalition no longer has any legitimacy to rule Romania, today’s vote of the citizens shows a firm, clear will for change in Romania, and it clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of citizens no longer accept for a coalition that has mocked Romanians to be at the helm,” Orban said in a statement held at the PNL headquarters.

He asked all delegates in the polling stations representing the Opposition parties to be “on the lookout”, to be “attentive to” any sort of scheme, any maneuver “those in power are trying, and to ensure the correctness of the votes’ counting, so that the result of the vote matches with the real will expressed by the citizens.

“I will never forget how the PSD once again humiliated our diaspora brothers, made them stand for hours in queue, did not allow them to exercise the right to vote, given that a month before the elections, I repeatedly called on them – increase the number of polling stations, increase the number of voting booths, streamline the voting process, otherwise you will again commit the offense to prevent the exercise of voting rights,” Orban said .

 

Dragnea, after the exit-polls: These are not results to satisfy the PSD

 

The chairman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, stated, on Sunday evening, after the announcement of the exit-polls in the European Parliament elections that the results are not ones to “satisfy the PSD”.

“I thank Romanians that have voted with the PSD. (…) These are not results to satisfy the PSD. Some analyses need to be carried out fast and seriously in the party. And I understand one of my colleagues had a proposal. I say to all: In my life I’ve assumed what I did and did not do and I will do the same now, together with my colleagues. But I never assumed such things on Facebook, or hidden away in a nearby country, but in a very serious discussion in the National Executive Committee”, said Dragnea at the party headquarters.

He announced that he will request the party organize a congress in the latter part of June in order to “plot the future course” of his formation, but also regarding who will be the candidate of the PSD-ALDE Alliance in the presidential elections to come.

“I say to my colleagues in the country and all those who’ve voted for us: PSD has been through such moments before, moments far worse and far harder than now, in 2007 and in 2015 when the chairman resigned on Facebook and then in 2016 it won the local and parliamentary elections. I ask all my colleagues to keep the party united and to maintain what we have done so far for Romanians. (…) Romanians decided which are the Romanian MEPs that will go to Brussels. In turn, I believe that PSD and ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] must do everything possible to defend what was won up to now for Romanians”, the PSD leader said.

Asked what he believes is his fault in this context, Dragnea replied: “My fault is that I accepted to be party chairman in 2015.”

 

SocDem leader, when asked about resignation: I never did anything against party decision

 

The Social Democrat Party (PSD) chairman, Liviu Dragnea, stated, on Sunday, when asked if he takes into account resigning from his position, that he has never done anything other than what the party said or anything against the formation that he is leading.

Asked at the PSD headquarters if he will bow out, following the results of the elections on Sunday, Dragnea said: “I have never done anything other than what the party said and I have never done anything against what was decided in the party.”

“From my point of view, the coalition should not be affected. (…) It was a storm of hatred”, he added, when asked if the result of the elections will affect the governing coalition.

He stated three objectives in that context: that the PSD remain united, the coalition continue to exist, and the governing mandate not be ceded.

 

PSD leader: I’m going to talk to Tariceanu; I want to maintain government

 

Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), stated that he will meet on Sunday evening with the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, and emphasized that he wants PSD-ALDE to keep governing.

 

“I will go talk to him now, yes”, said Liviu Dragnea, upon leaving the PSD headquarters, when asked if he will meet the ALDE chair this evening.

Asked if he will go to the ALDE headquarters, he mentioned “I’ll call him to see where they are, they might be somewhere else.”

Regarding the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the PSD, Dragnea said he desires to have one next week.

He mentioned that he wants PSD-ALDE to keep governing, when asked if this will be a topic of discussion.

“I want to maintain government, I understand that there’s no more legitimacy, but from what I’ve heard, I don’t know if it’s true, in France, Macron lost the election, will he resign as President? No,” Dragnea said.

 

Tariceanu: Votes we counted on at maximum presence 35 pct will come true; record turnout diminishes ALDE share

 

The chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Calin Popescu Tariceanu, stated on Sunday, at the headquarters of the party, following the closing of the polls, that from discussions with his colleagues the number of votes that they counted on, calculated for a turnout of around 35 pct, will come true, but the record turnout diminishes the share of the votes won by ALDE.

“We had an objective regarding the number of votes. That objective was calculated, as we’ve seen from the estimates of statistical institutions, for a voter turnout that would’ve been between 30 and maximum 35 pct. This record turnout surely diminishes our share, counting on the same number of votes. The discussions that I’ve had with our colleagues confirm that the votes we counted on will come true,” Tariceanu stated, on Sunday, at the ALDE headquarters, after the closing of the polls.

According to Tariceanu, the “record” participation diminishes ALDE’s share of the vote.

“There’s a very high number of voters, which demonstrates that Romania’s democracy is alive and healthy. To all those who voted for us, to all Romanians that sympathize us, their vote obligates us and brings us great joy. The results of the exit-poll are only indicative, which is very important from now on, and I will use this opportunity to appeal to our colleagues who are in the polling stations to follow the voting process to the end, which means, moving forward, the counting of the votes. I trust that they will carry out their mission successfully,” Tariceanu added.

The ALDE leader mentioned that although the referendum will be validated, it “deepens the divide in Romanian society”.

 

Dacian Ciolos: Today’s vote shows Romania’s rebirth

 

Romanians voted for the rebirth of the country and for a European Romania, Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) leader Dacian Ciolos said on Sunday after the announcement of the exit-poll results.

“Today’s vote shows that Romania is reborn, and the citizens of Romania have finally restored meaning to democracy through their vote. We thank the over 9 million Romanians who voted today and have demonstrated that Romania is a European country, (…) that they also give Europe an example of what a nation can do when society mobilizes to show politicians the way the country should go,” Ciolos said.

He appreciated that there was “an exceptional mobilization” to vote of the Romanian citizens, including the Hungarian community.

In his turn, Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna said that through the vote at the referendum the first step was taken for the phrase “no criminals” to become the letter of the Constitution.

“And this answer is the element on which we can further build the future,” Barna said.

 

Barna: We request officially, formally and explicitly the resignation of Dancila Government

 

The 2020 USR PLUS Alliance (formed by the Save Romania Union – USR, and the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party – PLUS) officially and explicitly requests the resignation of the Dancila Government for what happened with the vote of the citizens in the diaspora, stated, on Sunday evening, co-chair of the Alliance Dan Barna.

“What happened in the diaspora shows that this Government needs to leave. We request officially, formally and explicitly the resignation of the Dancila Government for the mockery it has done again against the citizens in the diaspora, following the experience in 2014. This is unacceptable. (…) The Romanians in the diaspora, the four million Romanians, many of them forced to leave the country, deserve to express [their vote – e.n.], not by standing for hours in horrendous queues, because an incompetent Government is not fit,” Dan Barna declared.

He claimed that Parliament is no longer legitimate and that the right way to proceed would be snap elections.

“Currently, this Parliament is a Parliament that is no longer legitimate. Our position is that the correct way to proceed is snap elections. You cannot join those who have brought Romania to where it is now and say: that’s it, we’re brothers. The vote today shows that Romania and Romanians want a new political class, one that’s decent and competent. Without a doubt, this government needs to leave,” Barna emphasized.

The USR leader mentioned that “this Government should leave either by resignation, or by motion” of censure.

“There is no doubt that following what happened today in the diaspora, after the way the elections were not organized, this Government has no moral legitimacy to remain at the helm of Romania,” Barna added.

 

Eugen Tomac (PMP): For us it’s a great success

 

Eugen Tomac, chairman of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), stated on Sunday after the announcement of the results of the exit-poll for the European Parliament elections that for his party, it’s a “great success” and also stated that the Social Democrat Party (PSD) got “a well-deserved lesson”.

“For us it’s a great success, because at this turnout of around 50% – we surely didn’t think that we will manage to mobilise such a high number of citizens to come and join us, but this trust granted today brings us great joy, makes us very accountable and we assure them that this vote will be heard more and more often in Brussels too and will make proud all those who’ve given us the trust that they had today a correct option for Romania. For us it’s a very good result, because the presence of over 9 million Romanians at these elections shows us that Romanians can no longer stand humiliated in front of a power that thought itself involved in everything and thought it ruled over everything. PSD got its well-deserved lesson,” said Tomac in a press conference.

He thanked PMP voters and the former honorary chairman of the party, Traian Basescu, for “taking up this battle”.

When asked why Traian Basescu did not come to make statements, Tomac said that he is “well, he’s following the results and will come out with statements in the future regarding these elections and the situation on the political scene.

 

Kelemen Hunor: We will have powerful voice in EP

 

The chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor, stated, on Sunday, after the conclusion of the voting process and the announcement of the exit-polls, that the representatives of the Union will have a “powerful voice” in the European Parliament, including also for the continuation of the path of the Minority SafePack.

“Through the exit-poll result, 5.4 pct means that we will have in the next five years a powerful voice in the European Parliament. (…) The number of votes, if these estimates after the counting of all votes are confirmed, means we have around 440,000-450,000 votes, which in the European Parliament elections I don’t believe we’ve ever had. (…) I believe that we must wait for the vote count. I believe that we will have a powerful representation and we promise that our representatives in the EP will have a powerful voice, a very determined one, because we must continue the path that we’ve set on, including the Minority SafePack, this package to defend ethnic minorities in the EU, which is an important desiderata for us. At the same time, we must be present where decisions are made, when the EU will reform itself,” Kelemen Hunor said.

 

Ponta: It’s clear Romanian society wants change; Dragnea was leading Romania to cliff’s edge

 

Romanian society wants a change, stated, on Sunday evening, after the announcement of the exit-polls, the chairman of Pro Romania, Victor Ponta, claiming that the leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, “buried” both the PSD and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).

“It’s clear that the Romanian society wants a change. We are the ones who understood faster that Mr. Dragnea was taking Romania to the cliff’s edge. I want to recall that the PSD, in 2014, also with Corina Cretu on the first spot, with me, took 37 pct of the vote and the PNL [National Liberal Party] took 14 pct. Now things have changed. The fact that Dragnea did not understand them with his clique of individuals is just a very clear message for the entire center and center-left electorate of Romania,” Ponta mentioned.

He claimed that Liviu Dragnea is the one that “buried” the PSD and ALDE and expressed his hope that Pro Romania obtain, in the vote count, over 5 percent and go towards reconstructing the center-left area.

The former Prime Minister also congratulated the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR) “for their results and for their campaign”.

 

BEC- voter turnout in referendum: By 21:00hrs, 41.23pct of electors cast their vote

 

The voter turnout across the country in the referendum convened by President Klaus Iohannis stood at 41.23 percent on Sunday, until 21:00hrs, according to the data registered on the website of the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).

The total number of electors was 7,536,263, out of whom 4,424,414 electors in the urban area and 3,111,849 in the rural area.

According to the BEC, 45.30 percent of the electors cast their vote in Bucharest.

Abroad, 332,006 voters had come to the polls by 21:00 hrs.

According to BEC data, the voter turnout in the referendum by 21:00hrs, by county was:

 

* Alba – 47,83 pct

* Arad – 42,6 pct

* Arges – 40,44 pct

* Bacau – 36,72pct

* Bihor – 44,92 pct

* Bistrita-Nasaud – 41,99pct

* Botosani – 31,95 pct

* Brasov – 48,49 pct

* Braila – 36,87 pct

* Buzau – 38,19pct

* Caras-Severin – 34,53pct

* Calarasi – 36,69pct

* Cluj – 56,39pct

* Constanta – 46,01pct

* Covasna – 39,79pct

* Dâmbovita – 41,35pct

* Dolj – 35,07pct

* Galaţi – 36,61pct

* Giurgiu – 38,77pct

* Gorj – 36,83pct

* Harghita – 44,89pct

* Hunedoara – 38,91pct

* Ialomiţa – 34,46pct

* Iasi – 38,62pct

* Ilfov – 56,96pct

* Maramures – 37,18pct

* Mehedinti – 31,65pct

* Mures – 44,49pct

* Neamt – 36,29pct

* Olt – 34,59pct

* Prahova – 45,18pct

* Satu Mare – 36,81pct

* Salaj – 45,81pct

* Sibiu – 51,65pct

* Suceava – 35,84pct

* Teleorman – 32,88pct

* Timis – 47,94pct

* Tulcea – 39,30pct

* Vaslui – 29,40pct

* Vâlcea – 38,68pct

* Vrancea – 38,47 pct

 

The data is posted in real time on the BEC website.

 

EuropeanElections2019.  BEC voter turnout: 48.95pct of electors cast votes until 21:00hrs

 

The nationwide voter turnout in the elections to the European Parliament on Sunday stood at 48.95 percent of the electors until 21:00 hrs, according to the data recorded on the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) website.

A total of 8,943,897 electors cast their ballots, with 5,132,786 in the urban area and 3,811,111 in the rural area.

According to BEC, 52.26 percent of the citizens voted in Bucharest Capital City.

As many as 329,984 citizens cast the ballots abroad.

Higher turnout was registered in the following counties: Ilfov – 63.78 pct of the total number of electors on the rolls, Cluj – 60.95 pct and Giurgiu – 55.42 pct.

Lower turnout was registered in the counties of Vaslui – 34.79 pct, Botosani: – 39.66 pct and Satu Mare – 41.63 pct.

BEC informed that at 21:00 hrs, the turnout in the elections to the European Parliament by county was as follows:

 

* Alba – 52.79pct

* Arad – 47.81pct

* Arges – 50.71pct

* Bacau – 43.16pct

* Bihor – 52.74pct

* Bistrita-Nasaud – 49.26pct

* Botosani – 39.66pct

* Brasov – 54.18pct

* Braila – 44.01pct

* Buzau – 48.56pct

* Caras-Severin – 44.75pct

* Calarasi – 44.44pct

* Cluj – 60.97pct

* Constanta – 51.56pct

* Covasna – 42.8pct

* Dambovita – 52.04pct

* Dolj – 50.82pct

* Galati – 44.19pct

* Giurgiu – 55.43pct

* Gorj – 48.62pct

* Harghita – 47.31pct

* Hunedoara – 48.32pct

* Ialomita – 42.48pct

* Iasi – 43.72pct

* Ilfov – 63.85pct

* Maramures – 42.88pct

* Mehedinti – 50.35pct

* Mures – 49.22pct

* Neamt – 43.60pct

* Olt – 50.98pct

* Prahova – 45.71pct

* Satu Mare – 52.14pct

* Salaj – 52.17pct

* Sibiu – 55.03pct

* Suceava – 42.45pct

* Teleorman – 51.90pct

* Timis – 52.95pct

* Tulcea – 45.11pct

* Vaslui – 34.79pct

* Valcea – 47.98pct

* Vrancea – 46.28pct

 

The BEC website is posting real time results.

 

 

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