Articles about voting issues in Romania.

Romania: Anti-graft agency says faces political intimidation in run up to election | The Star Online

A Romanian anti-corruption watchdog has said it is under political pressure to drop its investigations of senior figures in the run-up to a December parliamentary election. The head of the National Integrity Agency (ANI) said politicians were trying to intimidate his organisation after it notified three ministers and a state official last week that it was investigating them for possible conflicts of interest.

Full Article: Romania anti-graft agency says faces political intimidation - World Updates | The Star Online.

Romania: Court: reinstate president, referendum invalid | Reuters

Romania’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday struck down a referendum to impeach President Traian Basescu, foiling a drive by the leftist government to oust its chief political opponent months before a parliamentary election. The government said it would accept the decision, but the acting president said Basescu was now an “illegitimate” leader. Several hundred people gathered in two main Bucharest squares in the afternoon, one crowd supporting the president and the other protesting against him. Both remained peaceful.

Full Article: Romanian court: reinstate president, referendum invalid | Reuters.

Romania: President Basescu Survives Impeachment Referendum Due to Low Turnout | Turkish Weekly

Romanian President Traian Basescu appears to have survived a referendum on his impeachment. As polls closed, preliminary figures indicated turnout was less than the 50% required to make the result invalid. Basescu, who has been suspended by parliament, had asked his supporters to boycott the vote.The center-left government had accused the center-right president of exceeding his authority and of meddling in government affairs. Polling stations closed at 23:00 local time (20:00GMT). First results are expected on Monday. Three hours before the polls were due to close, the election bureau said turnout so far had been 37.7%, the BBC reported. Initial polls put the turnout at about 44%. As voting ended, Basescu said that Romanians had “rejected a coup” by staying away from polling stations. 

Full Article: Romanian President Basescu Survives Impeachment Referendum, 30 July 2012 Monday 9:25.

Romania: Romanians to Hold Presidential Recall Vote | Wall Street Journal

Romanians will vote Sunday on whether to oust their country’s president as part of an impeachment process that the European Union says threatens to undermine the former communist-bloc nation’s young democracy. The nationwide recall referendum comes amid a partisan feud between a resurgent left, led by new Prime Minister Victor Ponta, and center-right politicians, including President Traian Basescu, whose popularity has been severely dented by austerity measures and a weak economy. Recent legislative and political maneuvers carried out by Mr. Ponta’s supporters and designed to make it easier to remove Mr. Basescu have drawn fire from critics inside and outside Romania who say the moves endanger the rule of law and judicial independence. Under pressure from the EU, which Romania joined in 2007, Mr. Ponta, a 39-year-old Social Democrat, agreed to roll back measures the regional group found objectionable. However, a parliamentary vote to impeach Mr. Basescu, which triggered Sunday’s ballot, remains in force. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Wednesday that Brussels is “still very much worried on the state of democracy in Romania.”

Full Article: Romanians to Hold Recall Vote -

Romania: Opposition Urges Voters to Boycott Impeachment Ballot | Businessweek

Romania’s opposition Democratic Liberals urged voters who support suspended President Traian Basescu to boycott a referendum on July 29 to help win his reinstatement by invalidating the impeachment vote. The opposition said voters should stay away from the polling stations because the ruling coalition won’t meet the same organizational standards as in the 2009 presidential election, increasing the possibility for electoral fraud, Democrat Liberal leader Vasile Blaga told reporters in Bucharest today. The ruling Social Liberal Union don’t understand that they “should set up the vote under the same conditions as in 2009, when we also had surveillance cameras, so we ask citizens to stay away from this masquerade” Blaga said.

Full Article: Romanian Opposition Urges Voters to Boycott Impeachment Ballot - Businessweek.

Romania: Referendum Voting Hours Extended to Boost Turnout | Businessweek

Romania extended the voting hours to boost turnout and increase the chances of reaching a minimum threshold to make a July 29 referendum on removing President Traian Basescu valid. Lawmakers voted in favor of changing a referendum law to keep polling stations open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mircea Dusa, the government minister in charge with the relations with the legislature, told reporters today. Parliament’s two houses also voted to introduce a requirement of a minimum turnout to meet the terms of a Constitutional Court ruling and pledges to European Union leaders.

Full Article: Romania Extends Referendum Voting Hours to Boost Turnout - Businessweek.

Romania: New law gives suspended president chance of surviving impeachment vote | The Washington Post

Romania’s interim president on Tuesday signed a new law that requires a majority of registered voters to take part in a referendum for it to be valid, giving suspended President Traian Basescu a fighting chance of remaining in office when his impeachment comes up for a public vote. The former communist country appeared to be signaling to the European Union that it is addressing concern about the state of its democracy, a key issue as it tries to attain greater privileges within the regional bloc, including access to its passport-free zone. Basescu was impeached by Parliament on grounds he overstepped his authority by meddling in government business and the judicial system. Critics accuse Prime Minister Victor Ponta of orchestrating the move as part of a power grab, and the political turmoil has dented Romania’s credibility, with the U.S. and the EU expressing doubts about the left-leaning government’s respect for the independence of the judiciary.

Full Article: New Romanian law gives suspended president chance of surviving impeachment vote - The Washington Post.

Romania: Romanian Court Raises Bar for Recalling President |

Romania’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that at least half the electorate must cast ballots in a recall referendum aimed at removing the president for the vote to be valid, a new twist to a bitter partisan feud between a resurgent left and a right no longer favored by an austerity-weary electorate. The government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, a Social Democrat who took office in May, has drawn criticism from European capitals and local civil liberties groups for a series of rapid-fire maneuvers that set the stage for the impeachment of right-leaning President Traian Basescu. Parliament voted Friday to suspend Mr. Basescu. The national vote on whether he should be ejected from office is to be held July 29. The court upheld a new law lowering the threshold for removal to a majority of the votes cast, but added the turnout proviso, which could make for a close election.

Full Article: Romanian Court Raises Bar for Recalling President -

Romania: The unexpected changes and expected wins of Romania's local elections |

Romanians voted strongly in favor of the new governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) in local elections on Sunday, after years of Democratic Liberal (PDL) government which applied a long series of austerity measures but which, according to rivals, had lost its legitimacy. USL claimed a strong lead across the country with major wins in Bucharest and other cities, while here and there a close vote remains to be settled. USL leader Victor Ponta pointed out on Monday morning that these were the best results the Social Democrats and the Liberals ever received in local elections.

Full Article: The unexpected changes and expected wins of Romania's local elections - Top News -

Romania: Romania Passes Controversial Election Law | Balkan Insight

Opposition parties and some civic organizations are protesting against a new election law which eliminates a minimum vote threshold for lawmakers and which, it is argued, could allow ultra-nationalists to enter parliament. “It isn’t normal to change an important law less than six months before parliamentary elections,” said Kelemen Hunor, president of UDMR, the main party for ethnic Hungarians in Romania. “Besides, it is expected to give to the current government a hefty majority after the November elections,” he added. Representatives of human rights organizations say the new law “will fail to stop populist and nationalist parties from entering parliament.” The center-right Democrat Liberal Party, PDL, on Wednesday announced plans to take their opposition to the law to the Constitutional Court.

Full Article: Romania Passes Controversial Election Law :: Balkan Insight.

Romania: Government Collapses After Protests | TIME

Romania’s government has collapsed following weeks of protests against austerity measures, the latest debt-stricken government in Europe to fall in the face of raising public anger over biting cuts. Emil Boc, who had been prime minister since 2008, said Monday he was resigning “to defuse political and social tension” and to make way for a new government. Thousands of Romanians took to the streets in January to protest salary cuts, higher taxes and the widespread perception that the government was not interested in the public’s hardships in this nation of 22 million. President Traian Basescu quickly appointed Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu, the only Cabinet member unaffiliated with a political party, as interim prime minister to serve until a new government is approved.

Full Article: Romania's Gov't Collapses After Protests - TIME.