Electoral campaign for general election kicks off under special measures prompted by COVID-19, with over 7,000 candidates running

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The electoral campaign for this year’s parliamentary elections has kicked off on Friday, November 6 and will end on December 5, at 7:00 hrs.

The general election will be held on December 6 in Romania, during 07:00hrs to 21:00hrs, and for two days abroad, on December 5 and December 6.

The electoral campaign is starting under special measures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, with electoral meetings, rallies and number of participants limited.

Therefore, in the case of events/meetings held indoors, the number of participants was limited at a maximum of 20, and in the case of those taking place outdoors – at a maximum of 50. As for actions carried out on the street, groups of people was narrowed down to 6 at the most, and in the case of door-to-door actions, the number of people was limited to a maximum of 2.

There are public measures in place to be observed during electoral events and rallies.

According to the Permanent Electoral Authority, there will be almost 19 million citizens with the right to vote registered in the Electoral Register on October 31, namely 18,981,242.

Almost 40,000 Romanian living abroad submitted registrations to vote by mail, 39,238 more precisely.

Most requests came from Romanians in the United Kingdom – 9,224, Germany – 5,772, Italy – 3,378, Spain – 3,338, France – 2,769.

Over 1,000 applications were submitted by Romanians from Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Ireland.

At the same time, 3,939 Romanians from abroad registered to vote in the parliamentary elections at polling stations.

More than 7,000 candidates running for MP seats

7,136 candidates will run in the 2020 general election, as against 6,476 in the 2016 election, according to a report by Expert Forum.

According to this sources, most of those joining the competition for an MP seat come from the People’s Movement Party (PMP), 641; the National Liberal Party (PNL), 640; Pro Romania, 639, and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), 631. The Save Romania Union – Party of Freedom, Unity and Solidarity (USR PLUS) alliance, the only alliance in this election, filed 616 candidates.

Out of 7,136 candidates, 4,659 are racing or a seat in the Chamber of Deputies and 2,477 for a seat in the Senate. As many as 57 candidates represent national minority organisations vying for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

There are 42 independent candidates running for the Chamber of Deputies and one for the Senate.

President Iohannis lobbies one more time for holding elections

President Klaus Iohannis  has stated on Thursday that powerful nations hold democratic elections including during times of crisis, exemplifying with the recent elections held in the USA, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are many debates in the public space about the opportunity of holding the elections amid the current pandemic. I will say it clearly: democracy cannot be put on hold. Democracy must be guaranteed and democracy is guaranteed through free elections. And the powerful nations hold elections including during such times of crisis,” Klaus Iohannis underlined, arguing we should look at old democracies in this respect.

“We should look at consolidated democracies, with old traditions, when we want to see how we must deal with elections during times of crisis. In the United States, the elections took place in the context in which almost 100,000 new cases of novel coronavirus infections are reported daily. They still held elections, in this context, and had a record turnout,” the Romanian President argued, stressing that the Americans observed the health protection rules enforced during the voting procedure.

The president also exemplified with the elections from the US from “November 1944, in full war.” “They wanted to hold elections, because this how it’s done in a democracy (…) this is how the powerful nations do it, and the Romanian nation is a strong nation.

President Iohannis reminded that the electoral campaign will be one conducted “under very special, very strict conditions”, asking the members of the Government to secure safe conditions for people to cast their votes.

“We will overcome this crisis together,” concluded the president.

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