Romanians went to the polls in large numbers.
European elections - Around 19 million voters were summoned to the polls on Sunday to elect Romania’s representatives in the new European Parliament, with 13 political parties taking part in the race. Adding to these were 3 independent candidates. Romania will have 33 members in the new European Parliament makeup, but according to a European Council decision, one of these seats will only be assigned to Romania after Brexit has taken effect. According to the central Election Bureau, the voter turnout rate at national level was 46% at 8 p.m., Romania’s time, much more that at the previous elections. As many as 441 polling stations were opened for the Romanians living abroad, most of them in Italy and Spain, each of them home to around 1 million Romanians, and in the Republic of Moldova, a country with mostly Romanian-speaking population. Throughout the day Romanians stood in long queues at most polling stations abroad, but the Bucharest authorities decided that the extension of the closing time was not necessary. According to the Interior Ministry, no major incidents were reported during the elections. Citizens of another 20 EU countries also went to the polls on Sunday.
Referendum - Concurrently with the European elections on Sunday, Romania also held a referendum on the judiciary, initiated by President Klaus Iohannis. At 8 p.m., Romania’s time, the voter turnout rate was 39%, by 9% more than needed for the referendum to be valid. Romanians had to answer with “YES” or “NO” to the following two questions: "Do you support a ban on amnesty and pardon in cases related to corruption?" and "Do you support the ban on the adoption by the government of emergency ordinances in the field of crimes, punishments and judicial organisation and the extension of the right to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court?"
Cannes Film Festival - The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival ended with jury president, Alejandro González Iñárritu, announcing the jury’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his politically charged film "Parasite”. The film tells the story of a lower-class family who tries to improve its social situation by infiltrating a rich household. The award for best actress went to British rising star Emily Beecham for Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe.” Antonio Banderas took the trophy for best actor, awarded for his leading turn in Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical “Pain and Glory.” The French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop earned the Grand Prix for her debut feature, “Atlantics.”
Tennis - Four Romanian tennis players are competing in the women’s singles of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, that started on Sunday. On Tuesday, Simona Halep, the title holder and world no. 3 will be up aganist Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (47 WTA). On Monday Sorana Carstea will be up against the Czech Petra Kvitova. Mihaela Buzarnescu will play against Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia while Irina Begu will be up against Lin Zhu of China. In the men’s singles, the only Romanian in the competition is Marius Copil, who will play against the Fuyrench Benoit Paire.
(Translated by Elena Enache)