Campaign kicks off for November presidential election, New traffic code in force in Romania
Election campaign – Saturday saw the start of the election campaign for the November presidential election. The first round will take place on November 10, and, if the case may be, the second round will be held on November 24. 14 candidates are running in the presidential race among whom the incumbent president Klaus Iohannis representing the National Liberal Party, the interim prime minister Viorica Dancila from the Social Democratic Party, Dan Barna representing the Alliance Save Romania Union-PLUS, Theodor Paleologu representing the People’s Movement Party or Kelemen Hunor from the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania. The Permanent Electoral Authority has already established the locations of the almost 18,750 polling stations. Also the Foreign Ministry officials forwarded to the Electoral Authority a list with an additional 270 polling stations from abroad, to complete the already approved 444 stations. In the Diaspora, the presidential election will be held for the first time during 3 days, from Friday to Sunday, for each round of voting.
Government – President Klaus Iohannis will announce on Tuesday, at the latest, the proposal for the new prime minister after consultations with parliamentary parties. On Friday, after a first round of talks, the president announced the urgent need for a transitional government made up of the National Liberal Party or around this party, which initiated the motion of no confidence that led to the dismissal of the Social Democratic government led by Viorica Dancila. According to president Iohannis the person nominated to head the new government will have to form a new government as soon as possible, as they need to draft the country’s budget for 2020 and to ensure the organization of the presidential election. Although the president favors the idea of early parliamentary elections, he admitted that this is very difficult thing to achieve.
Activity report – The ministry for the Romanians abroad on Friday presented its activity report over the period 2017-2019. The interim minister Natalia Intotero pointed out that the budget allotted to support the activity of the Romanians abroad exceeded 7 million Euros. More than 460 projects for the Diaspora and the Romanian historical communities have been supported financially. The ministry’s activity report also includes reference to the future finalization of a project related to accessing European funding worth almost 5.4 million lei. The project is meant to draft a new strategy for the Romanians abroad which includes a sociological study on the Romanian Diaspora.
Traffic code – Using the mobile phone while driving will be punished as of Saturday in Romania by fines that can reach an amount of 1,160 lei that is 250 Euros. According to the new traffic code, drivers of all categories of vehicles are forbidden to hold in their hand or use any device that can record or stream live text and images and videos while the vehicles they are driving are moving. Even bikers and those using scooters have to abide by the new rules. Drivers can nevertheless use hands-free devices while driving. (translation by L. Simion)