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President urges gov't to fast track bill on appropriate administrative measures for elections

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday urged the government to fast track a bill that could be adopted by Parliament by the end of the current parliamentary session and that could set forth "appropriate electoral administrative measures," starting with the presidential election this year.

"I am urging the government to fast track a bill that could be adopted by Parliament before the end of the current parliamentary session to propose appropriate administrative measures, starting with the presidential election this autumn. I am asking parliamentary formations and parties to deploy all efforts to ensure that the bill fully respects the standards of electoral conduct and the legal requirements in the matter, so that instances the likes of the ones in the May [26] elections are avoided. If need be, I will require, in accordance with my constitutional powers, Parliament to convene in an extraordinary session for an urgent discussion of the bill to be debated so that the bill can be adopted before the next parliamentary session," Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He pointed out that if need be, he would call for an extraordinary session of Parliament.

The President mentioned that immediately after 26 May he announced the establishment of a working group with the Presidential Administration and thanked Romanians in the country and abroad for having submitted proposals for the improvement of the voting conditions. Iohannis also pointed out that he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Marcel Ciolacu, with the proposals put forth by the working group aimed at cutting through red tape for voting at polling stations abroad; adequate equipping of the polling areas; amending the electoral legislation regarding the procedures to be followed at the closure of the vote; increasing the number of polling stations abroad; introducing early voting for the election of the President of Romania; extending postal voting, which already exists for the general election, to include the election of the President of Romania and all other types of elections.

He underscored that "the humiliations to which Romanian nationals were subjected in the 26 May elections must never be repeated."

"Regardless of the political context, all the state institutions, and in particular Parliament, the Government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Standing Electoral Authority, are under an obligation to take all necessary measures to eliminate the identified factors that led to the voting process being hampered. The measures should apply to all the types of elections: the election of the President of Romania, the election of local public administrations, the election to the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, the election of the Romanian MEPs and including all types of referendums, with the possibility of an Electoral Code being drawn up in the near future that would unify and harmonise the legal provisions for electoral processes," said Iohannis.

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