After the elections for the European Parliament and the justice referendum, the Romanian Parliament has a busy agenda this week. On Tuesday, the foreign minister Teodor Melescanu is invited by the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union to answer questions before the Chamber of Deputies, whereas the Senate is discussing a simple motion tabled against him by the Opposition.
The political debates will focus on the voting problems in polling stations abroad on May 26. The Liberals, Save Romania Union and the People’s Movement Party call for the resignation of the foreign minister over the poor management of the voting process.
Also this week, Parliament leaders will convene to decide on the set up of an election code committee, as agreed in a meeting held by the ruling coalition. The president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, explained that committee members should draw up a bill enabling all citizens to exercise their voting rights in an efficient manner.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu: “We will invite the Central Electoral Authority, which as far as I know has already mentioned a number of proposals, including an extended early vote, electronic voting or mail voting. We will also invite the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry, so as to identify the most appropriate solution and to avoid such crowding and queuing in the future.”
During the May 26 vote for the European Parliament and the justice referendum, thousands of Romanians living abroad were unable to cast their votes because of the poor organization, in spite of the near doubling of polling stations set up abroad. A report issued by the Foreign Ministry at the request of PM Viorica Dancila denies any responsibility for the problems, and blames them on President Klaus Iohannis, who asked for a referendum on the same day as the European elections. Another accusation brought by the Opposition against the foreign minister is also the failure of Romania’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, the Opposition is also trying to get the required number of votes for a no-confidence motion to remove the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats from power. The Liberal Senator Alina Gorghiu said the other opposition parties promised to back the motion:
Alina Gorghiu: “I appreciate the openness of all those in the Parliament of Romania who are willing to cast their vote to dismiss the Cabinet through a no-confidence motion, and I assure those who cling on to power, and Mrs. Dancila too, that their unwillingness to step down turns them into a party that is irrelevant in the political arena.”
In turn, ProRomania, an opposition party headed by the former Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, announced that, although they did not sign the no-confidence motion, they will vote to dismiss the Cabinet.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)