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After talks with PM Orban, PMP's Tomac says sure local elections to be held on September 27


National leader of the People's Movement Party (PMP) Eugen Tomac said on Thursday he was convinced local elections would be held on September 27, adding that he had a discussion with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on the elections and insisted on the date.

"Obviously we have to prepare for the elections. I am convinced that we will have elections on September 27. I had a discussion with Prime Minister Orban today and I insisted, because I think we cannot extend indefinitely the terms of office of the locally elected. September 27 is the right time, first of all because we are on a reasonable enough schedule to get ready for the elections, because they are not made from one week to the next. There has to be a strict schedule, as the law asks. First you create the electoral bureau. The signature campaign needs to be rethought, because the number is very high and we should reduce the number of signatures. We clearly need to think of an alternative and we have come up with a proposal to remove the signatures and to have another formula through which to propose guarantees and those who obtain the score of at least 3% to recover such guarantees," Tomac told a virtual debate on holding elections during a pandemic as suggested by political party scenarios, organised by Expert Forum.

He added that for the PMP the election of mayors in two rounds has been and continues to be an important goal. "I regret that we will not have two-round mayoral elections this year, I think that for the Romanian administration, for the Romanian political life, it is absolutely essential to return to the election of mayors in two rounds," said Tomac.

In turn, Social Democratic Party (PSD) MP Florin Manole said on Thursday that it was important for all decisions related to this year's elections to be taken by consensus, at a cross-party dialogue table where civil society would also sit.

"Everything that should be done in connection with the elections during this period, for this year, is important to be done by consensus and to be done at a cross-party dialogue table where civil society can also sit. Looking at the model of legislative changes that have taken place since the elections to the European Parliament and that have been made by consensus and with the participation of the civil society, I think we have a model of dialogue for this year as well. Moreover, in addition to that example we also need public health experts," Manole told a virtual debate on holding elections during a pandemic in the scenarios of political parties organised by Expert Forum.

He called for the mobilisation of the government and specialist bodies, such as the Standing Electoral Authority, as soon as possible and for openness to dialogue on their part towards the civil society and experts for the drawing up of a set of rules regarding organisation at polling stations.

The Expert Forum (EFOR) proposes the extension of the voting process to two days, EFOR electoral expert Septimiu Parvu said on Thursday, at a debate on the organisation of elections during a pandemic period.

"We believe that voting at pooling stations should remain the main means to cast a vote. We cannot transfer it exclusively, either by vote via mail or by electronic vote, but as alternatives, we propose the extension to two days. We have some previous experiences," Septimiu Parvu said, at an online debate organised by the Expert Forum, called "Organising elections during pandemic. Scenarios of political parties."

He added that a matter which poses interest is the safe vote for the special categories of electors, arguing that, at the moment, the use of the mobile ballot box can present risks in the nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, an alternative being the vote via mail.