PM Ludovic Orban has announced today that his Cabinet will take responsibility on the bill to amend the electoral legislation and to elect mayors and county council leaders in two rounds.
Last evening, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that the Government will adopt “as soon as possible” the draft law to elect mayors in two rounds.
“PNL endorses the election of mayors by half plus one of the voters. Two years ago, we initiated a draft law to give legitimacy to these mayors through imposing the obligation that the mayor is elected by 50% plus one of the votes. This draft has been illegally parked by the Standing Bureaus of the Parliament to a defunct committee in order to prevent the bill from being adopted by the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies.
Therefore, we decided to take responsibility before Parliament on this bill to elect mayors in two rounds.
We’ll proceed as the citizens want. Of course, many mayors want to be elected after one round of elections.
But to improve the performance of the local administrations it is vital the mayors are elected in two rounds. It’s time to do what people want.
Of course, this will upset those at the helm of the Parliament, but we must take this risk for the Government has the duty to intervene,” said PM Orban at the beginning of the government sitting.
The Executive has also discussed the option of adopting an emergency ordinance to secure local elections in two rounds. However, the Cabinet has eventually chosen this version, to take responsibility in Parliament, in order to force PSD to file a censure motion that would lead to early elections, which are wanted and assumed by the Liberals.
Social Democrats have previously threatened with a no-confidence vote against Orban Cabinet if it takes responsibility on the electoral law.
PSD interim chairman Marcel Ciolacu has today officially announced that his party will file the censure motion, together with UDMR.
“We said we don’t agree a GEO or with Government’s taking responsibility for electing mayors in two rounds (…) We told PM Ludovic Orban we don’t agree to changing rules during the game (…) That’s OK, we’ll vote the censure motion and pave the way to early elections,” said UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor.
On the other camp, USR leader Dan Barna hailed the Government’s decision to take responsibility on electing mayors in two rounds, but announced they won’t vote the censure motion.
Although it lobbied for earlier elections, USR said the other days that they prefer local elections to elect mayors in two rounds rather than snap elections.