Reactions to Sunday's election

reactions to sunday's election The European Parliament election has overthrown the political hierarchy in Romania, while the referendum on the judiciary has sent out a strong signal to the political class

Often criticized for their overt apathy and lack of civic participation, Romanians were the victors of Sunday's European Parliament election. Half of them voted in the election, which represents an all-time high, and 41% voted in the referendum on the judiciary called by the president, thus exceeding the 30% threshold required to validate the referendum. At the referendum Romanians were asked whether or not they agreed to forbidding amnesty and pardon for corruption-related offenses, as well as forbidding emergency decrees targeting the justice system. Images of endless Romanians standing in line abroad, trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote, went viral online. Some of them did manage to vote, despite standing in line for hours, feeling frustrated and angry, all the more so as the same happened at the presidential election of 2014, when Romanians in the Diaspora also waited for hours in line to cast their vote. This is why President Klaus Iohannis and the main opposition parties in Romania, the National Liberal Party and the 2020 Save Romania Union - Plus Alliance have called on the left-of-center Government to step down. The President congratulated Romanians for the good voter turnout, saying their vote has conveyed a clear message to the political class. Klaus Iohannis:

"You have cast a clear and powerful vote that no politician in Romania can ignore. You have voted for fair policy-making, for an upright judiciary, for an independent judiciary, for good governance, to the benefit of Romanians and Romania".

Sunday's ballot has overthrown the political rankings in Romania. The National Liberal Party is now in top position, followed by the Social-Democratic Party. The 2020 Save Romania Union - Plus Alliance is now in third place. The Pro Romania Party, the People's Movement Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania will also be represented in the new European Parliament.  The Social-Democratic Party has lost not just 20% of the votes they received at the legislative election of 2016, but also their coalition partners, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats from Romania, who failed to reach the 5% threshold. Social-Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea thanked Romanians who voted for the Social-Democratic Party and reiterated his support for the governing program, admitting however the result is not a satisfying one. Commonly seen as the number one beneficiary of the cascading changes brought to the criminal legislation, Liviu Dragnea said he has never questioned the referendum on the judiciary. 

"The party must conduct swift and comprehensive analyses. Regarding the referendum, today I voted in the referendum as well. Like I've said on several occasions, I am not against the referendum and I am not against the topics it proposed. Romanian society never had a debate concerning the fight against corruption or any other related topics". 

Liberal leader Ludovic Orban believes the results of the European Parliament election and the referendum reflect the will of Romanian citizens.

"Starting today, no political leader will dare speak of amnesty, pardons or destroying the justice system by means of emergency degrees. I am grateful to all Romanian citizens who cast their votes and who voted for the National Liberal Party".

The president of PLUS Party, Dacian Ciolos, in turn hailed Sunday's vote, which he considers proof of the country's revival, while his coalition partner, Dan Barna, the president of Save Romania Union, said the results are a huge win for Romania.

This reaction is the element on which we can further build our future. This referendum shows that when the decent forces of society unite, the President, opposition parties who've never stopped believing that the justice system should remain independent, such a referendum can pass, confirming that the judiciary must remain independent and Romania must remain a part of Europe".

The Pro Romania party passed its first election test, becoming the 4th political faction in Romania. Pro Romania President Victor Ponta believes the result shows Romania is ready for a change. 

(Translated by V. Palcu)
Publicat: 2019-05-27 13:55:00
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