The election campaign enters final week
Presidential candidates in Romania now have less than a week to inspire Romania’s increasingly apathetic electorate.
Articol de Radio România Internaţional, 28 Octombrie 2014, 07:15
Next Sunday, more than 18 million Romanian voters are expected at the polls to elect their president for the following five years.
The election campaign started on the 3rd of December and has now entered its final week, with the candidates to the highest office trying to persuade voters against the backdrop of declining voter turnout in recent years.
While the euphoria of the anti-communist revolution led to an 85% turnout in the 1990 elections, voter turnout has decreased gradually to reach 58% in 2000 and drop below 55% at the latest presidential elections, in 2009.
This year, faced with one political scandal after another and an increasing number of prosecutions against corrupt politicians, voters seem even more indifferent than ever, as they believe the country will not be heading in the right direction irrespective of who wins the elections.
Going to the polls is proof that people care about the future of their country and the community in which they live, says the Central Electoral Body.
By November 1st, the end date of the election campaign for the first round of elections, candidates are trying to inspire voters by means of election posters, rallies and radio and TV debates.
On 2nd of November, 14 candidates are running for the presidential seat occupied by Traian Basescu for the last ten years: 2 of the 14 candidates are running on behalf of political alliances, 8 are supported by political parties and another 4 are running as independent.
The current leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta represents the alliance of the Social Democratic Party, the National Union for the Progress of Romania and the Conservative Party, while Klaus Iohannis, the ethnic German mayor of Sibiu, represents the Christian Liberal Alliance, in opposition.
For the first time in Romania’s history, two women are running for president: Elena Udrea, on behalf of the People’s Movement Party, and MEP and former justice minister Monica Macovei, who is running as an independent.
Also for the first time, the list of presidential candidates includes a former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, namely Teodor Melescanu.
The senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, running as an independent, is also on this list. 18,550 polling stations have been set up in Romania and 294 abroad, 21 million ballots have been printed and 94,000 “voted” stamps have been created.
If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a second-round runoff will be held on the 16th of November.