EUROPEAN ELECTIONS - The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the main party in the ruling coalition and the National Liberal Party (PNL), the main party of the right-of-center opposition, have each won 25.7% of the votes in the European elections held of Sunday, according to an exit poll. Following is the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance, with 23.9%. Pro-Romania, the National Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the People Movement’s Party (PMP) have also scored more than 5% each. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the junior party in the governing coalition, got less than 5% of the votes. The PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, has thanked Romanians for having faith in the governing programme but has admitted that the election result is not satisfactory. PM Viorica Dancila has said that her cabinet will leave only through censure motion. In turn, the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban has claimed vistory for his party and has thanked Romanians for their vote. The PLUS leader, Dacian Ciolos, has said that Sunday’s vote mirrors Romania’s rebirth, while the USR leader, Dan Barna, has asked for the resignation of the PSD-ALDE government for the faulty way of organising the elections. 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 almost 50%, much higher than at the previous elections. As many as 441 polling stations were opened for the Romanians living abroad. 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 - President Klaus Iohannis has congratulated Romanians on their high turnout in the European elections and the referendum on justice that he called on the same day. The voter turnout rate in the referendum exceeded 41%, way over the 30% needed for it to be validated. According to President Iohannis, Romanians have shown, through their vote, that they want a fair and politically independent justice system and a good governance. Iohannis has criticised the Government for the way it organised the elections, and has said the government has to leave. 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?"
(Translated by Elena Enache)