Diaspora vote, local elections and party financing topics agreed on at Cotroceni consultations

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President Klaus Iohannis informed in a press conference on Wednesday evening after the consultations with the parliamentary parties that they agreed on a legislative solution on Diaspora vote, local elections and party financing laws by the end of the upcoming parliamentary session.

The Romanian President also said all parties seemed willing to simplify procedures regarding the requests on the lawmakers’ arrest or search. “There are all circumstances met so that a legislative solution in this respect should be passed as soon as possible,”Iohannis said. In his opinion, in the light of the CVM report, besides immediate consequences, a mostly-sought sign of political will would be expressed.

At the same time, the head of state stated it is high time to move to a new stage of democracy, which should mean a reset of the system and a rise of confidence in institutions. First of all, Iohannis said that all Romanians, particularly those living abroad, should be able to cats their votes. Secondly, the President reckons that transparency is needed in institutions but also in the financing process of the political parties and of the electoral campaigns. A third direction voiced by the head of state relates to a proper legislation regarding the representation of the voters.

No mention of 300-member Parliament

Yet, the Cotroceni talks seemed to not have tackled the 2009 national referendum on decreasing the MPs number by 300. President Iohannis hasn’t mentioned anything on this topic in his press conference, while the parliamentary parties’ delegations have either expressed support for a 400-member Parliament, or avoided to give precise figures.

Social Democrat leader, premier Victor Ponta was somehow elusive on that. Asked if the Constitutional Court decision enforcing the referendum is going to be respected, he answered “We are always respecting the Court’s decisions.” Yet, before the consultations, Ponta was stating that PSD is favouring 300 deputies plus 18 deputies representing the national minorities and more than 100 senators. The same view was also shared by UDRM leader, Kelemen Hunor.

Liberal and conservative representatives declared themselves in favor of the MPs number drop, but avoided to speak out a certain figure. Only Vasile Blaga, co-president of the new National Liberal Party explained that, considering the fix mandatory number of the MPs representing national minorities, meaning 18, a Parliament with 300 deputies and 100 senators would not be valid, as the national minorities group would have a much too higher share, overtaking the third parliamentary group by number.

At present, the Romanian Parliament is counting 588 lawmakers, exceeding however the EU average. Over 7.7 million Romanians voted for a maximum 300-member Parliament in 2009 parliamentary reform referendum, called out by former President Traian Basescu.


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