President Klaus Iohannis has asked the Government in a press conference today to draw up a draft law to amend the electoral legislation by the end of this parliamentary session.
The head of state said that he would summon an extraordinary session of the Parliament if needed.
“I urge Government to immediately draw up a draft law that can be adopted by the Parliament by the end of this parliamentary session, that should encompass the proper administrative measures to be enforced starting the presidential election this autumn. I also ask all parliamentary parties to take all efforts so that the draft law fully observes the electoral conduct standards and requirements, so that the incidents occurred during the May 26 election should be avoided. If the situation requires, I will summon an extraordinary parliamentary session of the parliament to discuss the draft law as a matter of urgency, so that it should be adopted before the coming parliamentary session,” President Iohannis said in the press statement at Cotroceni Palace.
Iohannis has also advanced the measures that should be included in this draft bill, sending letters to PM Dancila and to the speakers of the two chamber of the Parliament today.
“The letter contains detailed solutions identified by the working group of the Presidential Administration that have to be immediately introduced in the electoral legislation. These measures refer to: eliminating the red tape in the voting process in the polling stations abroad; properly equipping the polling stations; amending electoral laws on the procedures to be observed when the stations are closed; increasing the number of polling stations abroad; introducing the vote in advance to elect the Romanian President; extending the right on postal vote for the presidential election and other type of elections”, the Romanian President pointed out.
He argued that the Romanian state authorities are compelled to enforce these measures “to ensure that all Romanian citizens will be able to vote in the country and abroad”.
“The humiliation the Romanian citizens have been subjected to at the ballot of May 26 must never repeat. Tens of thousands of people had to queue for hours to exert their constitutional right to vote. Many of them didn’t manage to cast heir vote. It has been commonly spread, mainly in the polling stations abroad.
The right to vote, enshrined by the Romanian Constitution, is a fundamental one, earned through a lot of sacrifice by the Romanians in December 1989 and we have the duty to ensure all conditions so that this right should be exerted by all Romanian citizens.
The vote is related to the essence of any democratic regime and no cost is too high in order to find the proper functional electoral mechanisms to allow every Romanian, living in Romania or abroad, to express his/her option”, the head of state underlined.
SocDem Chamber Speaker agrees on amending electoral laws
In retort, Chamber Speaker, Social Democrat Marcel Ciolacu said that “it is the first time that all political forces, including the Government and the President, agree, after a long time, that the Diaspora vote law must be amended as a matter of urgency, considering the presidential election this year”. ” The joint commission has been established in the joint plenary session yesterday, it will be released in the Official Gazette tonight and it is operations as of tomorrow“, Ciolacu said.
“We are making a time frame and we see if we have time this session or if we call an extraordinary session“, he added.
The Standing Bureaus of the Parliament have approved a week ago the establishment of a special committee to amend the legislation on the Diaspora vote. The committee has a deadline to come up with a proposal in this regard by the end of this month.
Yet, PSD claims election rigging on May 26, asks for inquiry committee
On the other hand, despite the agreement on the electoral law amendments, the ruling Social Democrat Party claims the EP election of May 26 had been rigged.
PSD spokesperson Mihai Fifor has announced today that PSD-ALDE is considering to set up an inquiry committee in Parliament to probe into the EP vote, arguing information in the public space point to election rigging.