PM goes back on the referendum vote statement

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After earlier on Wednesday PM Viorica Dancila had announced during a visit to Bacau that she will go to the polls on Sunday to vote both for the EP elections and also for the referendum, she came back on her statement, arguing she said she will go to vote and not how she will vote.

I am a supporter of the rule of law, of the independence of justice”, Dancila has initially said when journalists in Bacau asked her if she is voting on Sunday.

Yes, I will go to polls and I will vote both for the European elections and also for the referendum, I will vote for Romania’s image, for the country to gain its dignity, for, you know, I was a MEP for 9 years,  I know what working with the European institutions means, I know how important is to have committed people there, people who should work on directives, on rules where Romania’s and Romanians’ goals should also find a place”.

The prime minister pointed out that, in her view, these elections are very important and must be treated seriously, arguing that “Romania needs people who should support the citizens’ interests”.

I will also for for the referendum. As I’ve always said, I am a supporter of the rule of law and of the independence of justice, but also of the human rights, for we also have to consider this each time, there must be a balance in all”, Dancila said.

Few hours later however, Dancila came out with explanations. “I said I will go to the referendum, but I didn’t say how I will vote, for this will be settled inside the party. I am person who respects the party line (…) I will not go out publicly saying how I will vote at the referendum,” she said.

The premier’s initial move came as a surprise amid PSD and ALDE leaders’ urge to boycott the referendum or amid their campaigning against the referendum.

ALDE chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu has slammed President Iohannis last week over the referendum, accusing him of turning the referendum into a “diversion”. Tariceanu argued that the head of state is using the referendum as an excuse to get involved in the electoral campaign, “by hijacking the public debate from what should be of interest, namely the people Romania is sending in the European Parliament”.

Chairman of PSD Giurgiu and minister of Economy, Nicolae Badalau, features in a video “candid camera” footage talking to the mayors in the county and telling them he will not vote at the referendum for justice.

Liberal chairman Ludovic Orban has also accused that such PSD-ALDE leaders as Tariceanu, Mihai Fifor or Serban Nicolae are urging Romanians to boycott the referendum.

Dragnea on Dancila’s statement: Very good

Asked to comment the prime minister’s stance on going to vote for the referendum, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea said:

I haven’t seen the statement, but if she said that, it’s very good. PSD has always said, and me as well, that we don’t reject the questions to be asked at the referendum, on the contrary, we endorse them“.

Also questioned if he is going to vote at the referendum and if he is voting “yes”, or “no”, Dragnea replied: “Let’s get there. Can you believe that? Do you want them to make me another file? That I am commenting or influencing…Leave me alone! That’s why I am not talking about the referendum. When they said that I had told people to come to vote, for the referendum, they convicted me. Others have boycotted the referendum and they are safe and sound. So, I am not saying anything”.

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