The government will assume responsibility for the two-round mayoral elections, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced on Thursday.The prime minister approved the introduction on the agenda of a bill amending and supplementing Law 115/2015 for the election of the local public administration officials at the proposal of Minister of Development Ion Stefan.
"This is a bill law on the election of mayors in two rounds of elections with 50% plus 1. (...) In the discussions we had (...) we made the decision to take responsibility before Parliament on the bill regarding two-round mayoral elections. (...) From our point of view, to improve the performance of the local administration it is vital that the mayors are elected by half plus one of the enfranchised citizens of a local community in order to really have the legitimacy to put into practice the development programmes and to actually have capacity capacity, because the existence of a second round entails negotiation over a majority in the local councils that allows the implementation of a development plan," Orban explained at the beginning of a government meeting on Thursday.
He pointed out that the National Liberal Party (PNL) endorses two-round mayoral elections and mentioned that the Liberals submitted a legislative initiative two years ago to Parliament on this matter, adding that the bill was moved aside contrary to the regulations by a decision of the standing bureaus assembled for a now deceased electoral board to prevent the introduction of the bill to a plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies and its adoption.
"It is time to do what the people want and as such we have made the decision to assume responsibility for electing the mayors in two rounds. Of course we made this decision when it became obvious that those who are still at Parliament's helm will preserve this undemocratic way of the mayors and that there is no chance that through the parliamentary debate and the vote in the plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies we will manage to improve the electoral system for the local elections. Of course, that will probably bother those at Parliament's helm, but we must take on the risk, because the government has an obligation to intervene where things are not working properly and to improve democratic mechanisms," said Orban.