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IntMin Dan: Electoral legislation needs improvement to eliminate armed guard at polling stations

carmen dan

Interior Minister Carmen Dan said on Tuesday in Parliament that the electoral legislation needs to be improved in order to eliminate armed guard at polling stations.

At the same time, she said that the software now managed by the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) should be transferred an independent authority, such as the Standing Electoral Authority.

"I believe that the benefit of this analysis is the improvement of the electoral legislation, which, after all, should matter. And on this point, I believe that Romania is so democratic a country that we can exercise our right to vote without an armed guard, as the electoral legislation currently requires. I do not see any justification for this regulation, which is why we have proposed to hold guarding the polling station under our jurisdiction, but we do not understand why guards should be armed," Dan said at the end of hearings before a parliamentary inquiry committee into possible frauds in the May 26 elections to the European Parliament and justice referendum.

Asked if the election software should be developed by a privately-owned company that has no connection with the Army or any state body, Dan said: "Yes, my appreciation would be that this system should not be under the exclusive jurisdiction and responsibility of a special service. If we want a transparent electoral process, as long as we have an independent authority, such as AEP, who could also take on these prerogatives. I think this way suspicions of interference with the electoral process might be discarded."

Asked about a remark during the hearings, namely why an eight-minute voting time was needed, Dan said STS should be asked the question.

Regarding the information that an identity card would be passed multiple times through the system, Dan said that the information came to the Interior Ministry from polling stations.

Asked if the elections of May 26 were defrauded, Dan said, "I do not think my role is to be conspicuous, and I am not an investigative body. What I can say is that we had some powers expressly set forth by law and we have discharged mindful of what responsibility of MAI was. The electoral legislation was issued and co-initiated with AEP, which passed these regulations according to its powers, while MAI, which is co-initiator, had public peace responsibilities."

Regarding the operation of information "in a bad way," Dan was for evidence. "It is the conclusion we have drawn after analysing all the issues that generated these alerts. I do not have control over the software. STS owns the software; it also has the ability to train the operators, and is the one that receives the information. So we have no access to the functioning of this system, which is the exclusive power of STS and they are the most entitled to answer, " said Dan.

Regarding a parallel vote tabulation that should have been conducted by the majority Social Democratic Party (PSD), Dan said it was "a political decision" not to conduct such tabulation.

"It was a political decision. I cannot say why no parallel vote tabulation was performed. No one consulted with me on this issue, "said Dan responding to why her party colleagues did not perform parallel vote tabulation.

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