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Ruling coalition split over two-round voting for local elections. ALDE votes next to the Opposition

ALDE MPs in the Chamber of Deputies (Romanian Parliament’s lower chamber) have voted for electing the mayors in a two-round voting on Wednesday. The draft law goes back to the special committees as it had entered the plenary session with a negative opinion proposal, and it has not received enough support.

ALDE vice-president Varujan Vosganian has announced in the plenary sitting that the entire ALDE group had voted for returning to the two-round voting system for electing the mayors. The leader of the Social Democrats’ group said PSD is opposing the two-round vote.

So, ALDE has voted side by side with the Opposition parties from PNL, USR and PMP and against the stance assumed by the ruling Social Democrat Party. „It doesn’t mean we have frictions with PSD or that we want to break the coalition”, Vosganian explained. However, he asked a rhetorical question: „How would have been like to have one-tour voting system for the presidential elections since 1990 up to now?

Adopted tacitly by the Senate in June 2016, the draft proposed to return to the two-round voting system in the local elections. The bill has been on the Chamber of Deputies agenda since February this year. The opposition has kicked off a public awareness campaign and a signature raising campaign to have local elections held in two rounds.

President Klaus Iohannis advised Parliament in June 2016 to seriously consider re-introducing the two-round voting system for local elections.

It is not the first time PSD-ALDE divergent opinions are seen in Parliament during the voting procedure. Another tensed moment has been on the Offshore law, when ALDE blocked the PSD’s intentions.

About Alina Grigoras Butu