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The Vote "Nabbers"

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30 Sep 2004 - 00:00
The Vote


POLITICS - September 30th 2004

Four years ago, some unknown people entered the race for the highest job in the state, and today no one knows anything about them. They didn’t get at least 1% of the votes, but they got to be remarked. At least for the "courageous try" of dispersing the votes. A similar situation is to happen this year as well.

By ANIELA NINE, CARMEN VINTILA

The fundamental law of the country allows all the Romanians that fulfill a minimal set of conditions to enter the race for the Cotroceni (the Presidential Palace) armchair. So, all the electoral races by now didn’t have the lack of color given by the candidateship of some more or less known persons in the politics on the Dambovita bank. The first signs to say that the elections this year won’t have a different structure have already appeared.

ANONYMOUS PERSONS. Though until the deadline for submitting the candidacies for Cotroceni there is almost one month, "the participation announcements" were partly made, either we are talking about the candidates of the parliamentary parties, or the others less known. For the last ones, one first announcement came from a retired woman in Brasov, Doina Elena Noghiu, who, this way, wants to "come back" in the politics’ foreground, since in 1990 she was one of the first Parliament Members in Romania. Another candidacy launched with Romany songs and dances, is the one of Viorel Bumbu, known as the representative of the Romany in the Europe’s Council in 1999, but also as a main character of a sex-scandal in Alba-Iulia. On the same list of the "political anonymous persons" can be added another aspirant to the highest job in the state, the independent Gheorghe Dinu, lawyer, who is investigated by the Anti-corruption National Prosecutor’s Office for complicity in crimes like job malversation, money laundry, tax dodging and false statements, crimes whose authors are two managers from a commercial company. The list goes on with the names of Aurel Radulescu, locum tenens at the USA Orthodox Church, who already announced his intention last month. Though at the 2000 Presidential elections obtained an electoral score more than discouraging, 0.55%, lawyer Gratiela Barla announced her candidacy since February. And this is to focus on the Romanian-American Lia Roberts, who in the meanwhile retreated from the race, and who is not the first lady-candidate for the Romanian Presidency, her being the actual holder of this title.

THE MIDDLE TROOP. In an intermediary category, candidates supported by parties very little known on the Romanian political scene can be registered. These parties don’t have Parliamentary representatives or they appeared lately. In this category we can see the Democrat Youth Party (DYP), whose members named as candidate their own leader, Raj Tunaru. He gathered only 50,000 signatures from the 200,000 needed for submitting the candidacy. Though he is not 100% sure he will gather all these signatures, Raj Tunaru remains optimistic. Anyway he is disappointed of some people’s reactions. He had to see one of them, when asked for his ID, asking: "Why, do you want to take my house?". The Union for Romania’s Reconstruction (URR), party for the youth, launched in September its candidate for Cotroceni, this being the academy professor Marian Tata, a long-time-ago youngster. After a while, URR changed its mind and decided to name, for this job, a candidate "representative for age average of the URR members", his name being Ovidiu Tudorici. Another new party, the People’s Action (PA), initiated by Romania’s former President, Emil Constantinescu, decided to enroll in the electoral race a proper candidate, Marian Milut, after the negotiations for the fusion with the Rural Christian and Democrat National Party (RCDNP) failed.

There are also some other new parties that want to have candidates for the Presidency. For example, the New Generation Party (NGP) hasn’t named its candidate for the presidential elections by now. In one week time this will happen, as the first vice-president of the party, Paul Ghitiu, stated for us. In exchange the Democrat Force’s (DF) leader, Petre Roman, agrees the possibility of not running anymore for the Presidential chair due to lack of material and human resources. In the PURN (the Party for the Unity of the Romanian Nation) case, the party’s president, Mircea Chelaru, says that this is to be made final next, since there still are negotiations between PURN and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Though the Democratic Union of the Hungarians in Romania (DUHR) named Marko Bela, another candidacy will probably come from the radical Hungarians, Szasz Jeno, who is the CHU (the Civil Hungarian Union) leader. "It is a good idea. Since we are not allowed to take part in the Presidential elections we have no other choice for proofing we have supporters than having a candidate for Presidency", he said. Actually, Szasz Jeno, who is mayor in Odorheiu Secuiesc, stated that in case he will gather 200,000 votes, "these do not belong to Marko Bela or to DUHR". This means that a possible candidacy would suppose obtaining the legitimacy of CHU from the Hungarian community and a good score wouldn’t really count.

STATISTICS

In the 1996 elections, ten candidates obtained scores under 1%. George Muntean (The Populist Party in Romania) - 0.43%, Radu Campeanu (the Liberal Ecologist National Alliance) - 0.35%, Nutu Anghelina (independent) - 0.34%, Constantin Mudava (independent) - 0.31%, Constantin Niculescu (the National Party of the Motorists) - 0.24% and Nicolae Militaru (independent) - 0.22% are some of them. There has been a similar situation in 2000 as well, when from all the 11 candidates, 4 obtained under 1% of the votes each: Paul de Romania (the Party for the National Reconciliation) - 0.49%, Ion Sassu (the Labor’s Socialist Party) - 0.34%, Gratiela Barla (independent) - 0.55%, Niculae Cerveni (the Liberal Democratic Party in Romania) - 0.29%. If we take into account the polls by now, the situation won’t be different this year either.

POLL

At the beginning of the year RCDNP chose a not very known person, Constantin Timoc, to run for President. After the change of the RCDNP leadership, the things changed as well. According to the party’s vice-president, Serban Bubenek, a possible candidate now could the party’s leader himself, Gheorghe Ciuhandu. This depends on the result of a poll to be made in Timisoara to find out whether the inhabitants of this city agree with their mayor being candidate for Presidency. If Ciuhandu is considered to be "a good model for the people in Timisoara, then he might as well be a candidate for the rest of the country, and it is highly probable that Ciuhandu will run", said Bubenek.

LEGISLATION

According to the new law of the Romanian President’s election (370/2004), the candidacies proposed by the political parties and alliances, as well as the independent candidacies can be submitted only if they are supported by at least 200,000 electors. One elector can support only one candidate. The candidates’ proposals for electing Romania’s President are submitted at the Central Electoral Bureau (CEB), with 30 days at least before the date of the elections. There are some conditions to be fulfilled in order for these proposals to be accepted. Some of them are the existence of an estate declaration, of a declaration, on own responsibility, regarding the affiliation or non-affiliation as agent or assistant for the security organisms (like the political police) and the list or the lists of the supporters. For up to 20 days before the elections, the political parties and alliances, the citizens can object against the registering or the non-registering of the candidacy. The objection can be submitted at CEB, which forwards it, in 24 hours time, to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court solves the objection in 48 hours time since the submitting of it. The decision is final and it is published in the Official Monitor.

Translation: SORIN BALAN

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