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March 17, 2024

A roundup of news from Romania and the world

NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 17.03.2024, 14:01

Elections – In Bucharest, the Central Electoral Bureau was legally established for the European Parliament and local elections on June 9. Besides the seven judges from the High Court of Cassation and Justice, chosen by drawing of lots, the Central Electoral Bureau also includes the president and the two vice-presidents of the Permanent Electoral Authority. The following political groups and organizations of national minorities are also represented: Social Democratic Party – PSD, National Liberal Party – PNL, Save Romania Union – USR, Alliance for the Union of Romanians – AUR, Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania – UDMR, PRO Romania and the Parliamentary Group of National Minorities in the Chamber of Deputies. The opposition parties Force of the Right, People’s Movement Party – PMP and REPER are dissatisfied because, although they requested this, they did not manage to have representatives in the Central Electoral Bureau, as they do not meet certain criteria. The leaders of the Force of the Right speak of an incredible abuse and announce that they will address the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and USR president Cătălin Drulă claims that they have signals that the power would like to block the participation of the United Right Alliance in the June 9 elections. The Central Electoral Bureau is to pronounce on Sunday on the registration of this alliance formed by USR, PMP and the Force of the Right. If it were rejected, the three parties would not be able to have candidates under the same electoral sign in the summer elections.

 

Ukraine – Romania condemns the Russian elections in the temporarily occupied and illegally annexed Ukrainian territories. The Romanian Foreign Ministry appreciates, in a post on the Internet, that the elections organized by Russia in these regions violate international law, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, are illegal and illegitimate, and their result is null. The Romanian diplomacy strongly condemns the organization of polling stations in Transnistria region in the Republic of Moldova and in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia, without the consent of the authorities in Chisinau and Tbilisi, respectively. On the other hand, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bucharest, Valeri Kuzmin, was summoned to the headquarters of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, in relation to a series of recent statements by the Russian side. On the occasion of the summoning called by Minister Luminiţa Odobescu, the ambassador was notified about the deep dissatisfaction of the Romanian side with regard to the distorted, truncated and inconsistent manner in which important topics of bilateral relevance are addressed, including in the public communication of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, which originate in the historical past.

 

Russia – Sunday is the last day of voting in Russia for the presidential election, which is expected to give a new six-year mandate to Vladimir Putin. More than half of the voters went to the polls in the first two days, marked by sporadic incidents, but mostly by drone attacks on Russian territory, attributed to Ukraine. A new attack on a refinery in southern Russia was reported on Sunday in Krasnodar, with regional authorities saying it was caused by a fire and that one person died of cardiac arrest. All week there have been such attacks, and President Putin has warned that Kyiv’s attempts to disrupt the electoral process will not go unpunished. The team of the deceased leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, informed that, on Sunday, there were several protests against the predictable re-election of the acting president Vladimir Putin. In Russia’s Far East, in Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Irkutsk and other Siberian cities, people took part in the “Noon Against Putin” at lunchtime, Navalny’s team reported in a live broadcast on YouTube. At the same time, listening to the call of Putin’s opponents, hundreds of people queued at the same hour at a polling station in Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. Other Putin opponents, such as the exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who lives in the United Kingdom, called on people not to be afraid and to take part in the campaign.

 

Madrigal – The “Madrigal Marin Constantin” choir filmed, in a world premiere, a video at the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Being on tour in South America for the first time, the National Chamber Choir organized the filming of the second episode of the series “Romanian contemporary music in contemporary ancient spaces”, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, in the “lost city of the Incas”, one of the most beautiful and mysterious ancient spaces of the world. The first episode of the series was filmed in Sarmizegetusa, in Romania, and was released on January 15, on the National Culture Day.

 

Protests – Trade unionists of the Sanitary Solidarity Federation decide, these days, whether to start an all-out strike. They are consulted through an online referendum, as the federation considers the 20% salary increase approved by the Romanian government as insufficient. The increase would be granted in two equal installments, until the summer. On Monday, the union leadership is scheduled to have a meeting where a decision could be made regarding the protest. Last week, several thousand members of the Sanitary Solidarity Federation protested in Bucharest asking for the index-linking of salary incomes according to the inflation rate and the updating of the amounts related to increments and on-call services. (LS)

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