Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu on Friday sent a message to the Romanians in the diaspora reminding them that they have two days at their disposal to vote in the parliamentary elections so that to avoid crowding.
“It’s very important for the Romanian citizens who reside or have their domicile abroad to use both the two days to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in order to prevent the possible crowding at the polling stations. In the event that there would be large numbers of people, we have established a streaming mechanism, in the sense that we will signal which are the polling stations in the vicinity with fewer voters, in order to avoid thus the crowding, in the context in which the pandemic poses risks to the people’s lives,” Aurescu said in the beginning of the government meeting.
He also mentioned that, in the diaspora, the actual vote will start on Friday, 8.00 pm, Romania’s time, with the opening of the polling stations in New Zealand. There were 748 polling stations organized abroad, by 331 more compared with the parliamentary elections of 2016.
“The number of polling stations remained the same as previously announced, even if, out of various reasons, there were 25 polling stations that changed their address or were relocated, most of them in the same locality where initially established. Also important is the fact that we managed to maintain a number of 748 polling stations,” Aurescu said.
According to him, starting on Thursday, an interactive map of the polling stations abroad will be available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE). Also on Thursday a non-stop call centre was activated for the Romanian citizens abroad to get relevant information about the organization and unfolding of the elections.
“All the electoral materials have already been sent to the diplomatic and consular missions of Romania abroad, with two exceptions, namely Turkmenistan and Iran, where we had to have them made at the local level, according to the law in force. We also bought all that we need in terms of health protection materials. All polling stations will have such protection materials. Together with the AEP (Permanent Electoral Authority) and the STS (Special Telecommunications Services) we organized training sessions for more than 6,500 persons, who were designated or who can supplement the polling station committees, as presidents, deputies and members. We also sent 42 persons from the ministry headquarters to support the various polling stations,” said Aurescu.
He also mentioned that MAE, through its diplomatic and consular missions, took steps to obtain derogations in the case of the Romanian citizens who participate in the voting process in such states that have movement restrictions in place.
“We prepared the statement models that the Romanian citizens will have to carry with them in the states facing movement restrictions after a certain hour and specific proves to show that they are going to participate in the electoral process. For instance, in Italy, they will need a bona fide statement that they can use to justify their travel to the polling stations. In France also, the embassy made created a model of statement for the Romanian citizens going to the polling stations, which also includes a bona fide statement with the reason for the travel. A similar model of a statement will be needed in Spain, plus the Romanian identity card. In the UK there are no such travel restrictions at this moment, but, again, the embassy there distributed a letter of the laissez passer type for the Romanian citizens. Germany also doesn’t have any restrictions on movement in force, at this point, but we trained the diplomatic and consular missions to ensure a rapid flow of the voters and ensure a monitoring and streaming mechanism for the voter flows,” said the Minister, according to Agerpres.