Romania is getting ready for the presidential elections.
The presidential election campaign started in Romania on Saturday, October 12. There are 14 candidates running for the presidential seat. Among them is the incumbent president Klaus Iohannis representing the National Liberal Party, the outgoing prime minister Viorica Dancila from the Social Democratic Party, Dan Barna representing the USR-PLUS alliance and former MEP Mircea Diaconu, supported by Pro Romania Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). The latter party is headed by Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who, through his decision to leave the ruling coalition, gave the opposition the opportunity to dismiss the Dancila Cabinet through a no-confidence motion.
Also in the presidential race are professor, writer and diplomat Theodor Paleologu representing the conservative right-of-centre People’s Movement Party, Kelemen Hunor from the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), representatives of non-parliamentary parties such as Cătălin Ivan, Ninel Peia, Sebastian-Constantin Popescu, John-Ion Banu, Ramona-Ioana Bruynseels and Viorel Cataramă, as well as Bogdan Stanoevici and Alexandru Cumpănaşu as independent candidates. As many as 714 polling stations have been opened in the Diaspora, and the vote by mail has already started.
According to the Electoral Authority, some 41 thousand people have registered online to vote by mail, many of whom have already cast their vote. The envelopes with the ballot poapers should reach Romania by November 7 for the first round and by November 21 for the second round. As a novelty, voting lists in the Diaspora will be generated directly on the tablet, and the number of voters may thus reach 10 thousand in a single polling station, according to the head of the Electoral Authority, Constantin-Florin Mituletu Buica: „The effort to set up the polling stations abroad has been not only physical and logistical, but also financial. (...) Procedures have been simplified at the polling stations so as to make sure that as many people as possible will cast their vote, and not only 3000 a day, as it was the case before.”
The first round of voting will be held on November 10, and the second round on November 24. Under a government decision, Romanians abroad can vote for 3 days, from November 8 to 10 in the first round, and from November 22 to 24 in the second round and voting can be extended until midnight if there are people who have not managed to cast their vote by 9 pm, the official closing hour of polling stations.
(Translated by Elena Enache)