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Bucharest
March 9, 2021
POLITICS

Local elections’ campaign kicks off with special protection rules in the context of the coronavirus pandemic

The election campaign for the local elections began on Friday and ends at 7 a.m. on September 26.

Candidates entering the race for a chair of mayor or president of the County Council (CJ), but also for a seat in local and county councils will try, during this period, to convince the voters to give them confidence at the polls on 27 September.

For the first time, the election campaign will be an atypical one and will be conducted according to certain health protection rules, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thus, the organizers of the electoral events have the obligation to take several measures:

* observational triage and mandatory hand disinfection for all persons entering/arriving in the space where the events/meetings take place;

* maintaining a physical distance of at least one metre between participants in events/meetings, including those held on the street or from door to door;

* display of the rules of access and individual protection in visible places in the spaces where the events/meetings take place;

* in the case of closed-space events/meetings, limiting the number of participants to a maximum of 50 and their duration to a maximum of 2 hours;

* in the case of outdoor events/meetings, limiting the number of participants to a maximum of 100, delimiting the perimeter by visible signs and ensuring a minimum area of 4 sqm/person;

* in the case of actions carried out on the street, limit the number of persons moving in the group or forming a group to a maximum of 6;

* in the case of door-to-door actions, limit the number of persons who make up the teams to a maximum of 2;

-*the application of the rules of collective and individual hygiene to prevent contamination and to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to an area of at least 4 sqm/person;

At the same time, wearing protective mask so as to cover the nose and mouth, is mandatory for all persons who have reached the age of 5 years, present in the spaces where events/meetings are held within the electoral campaign, whether they take place in a closed or outdoor space, as well as during the interaction, on the street or in the case of door-to-door actions, between citizens and their candidates/election campaign teams.

*** In the election campaign, candidates, political parties, political alliances, electoral alliances or citizens’ organizations belonging to national minorities participating in elections, as well as citizens have the right to express their opinions freely and without discrimination, through rallies, gatherings, the use of television, radio, the press and other media. The means used in the campaign cannot be contravened by law.

It is forbidden to organize electoral campaign actions in military units, as well as in schools and universities during the courses’ period.

The election campaign prohibits the use of discriminatory messages or slogans or messages of incitement to hate and intolerance. Any forms, means, acts or actions of religious or ethnic enmity and violence, as well as public offense to religious symbols, shall be prohibited.

* Mayors are obliged, until the start of the election campaign, to establish special places for electoral display and to ensure the placement of electoral billboards within them, taking into account the number of political parties, citizens’ organizations belonging to national minorities, political alliances and electoral alliances that declare that they submit lists of candidates, candidates for the office of mayor and president of the county council, as well as independent candidates. These places must be located in areas frequented by citizens, without hindering the movement on public roads and other activities in the respective localities.

At the same time, on an electoral panel, each political party, political alliance, electoral alliance or organization of citizens belonging to national minorities participating in elections or each independent candidate can apply a single electoral poster. It may not exceed the dimensions of 500 mm one side and 350 mm the other side.

Election posters combining colors or other graphic signs are prohibited, so as to evoke the national symbols of Romania or another state.

*** The mandates of the current local elected officials, which were due to expire in June, were extended. The decision was taken in view of the fact that, in the current epidemiological context, elections for local public administration authorities could not be organised because pre-election and electoral operations could not be carried out without major risks to public health and without violations of the measures ordered by the medical authorities.

“The mandates in the process of being exercised by mayors, the mayor general of the municipality of Bucharest, the presidents of county councils, local councils, the General Council of the municipality of Bucharest and the county councils are extended until 1 November 2020,” states Law 84/2020.

Source: Agerpres

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