Civil Society Organizations Concerned over “Degradation of Respect for Democratic Procedures”
A group of seventeen civil society organizations are asking that the Constitutional Court and Parliament clarify the manner in which the citizens vote will be interpreted before it takes place, given Parliament’s latest decision regarding the referendum.
“We are referring to the article which states that, should the Constitutional Court decide that the validity conditions established by law were not met, Romania’s Parliament will take act of its decision and decide on the procedure to be undertaken”, Press Monitoring Agency director Mircea Toma told a press conference Wednesday at the headquarters of the Group for Social Dialog.
“In fact, it is simple for us to translate this message. Let the Constitutional Court express its decision and then we’ll see,” Toma added.
Along the same lines, the aforementioned organizations demand that Government urgently intervenes in “limiting the risk for multiple votes”.
To this end, Costel Popa, one of the ‘Pro Democraţia’ Association directors said that “the Administration and Interior Ministry should develop a database for the May 19 referendum, which would include the names of all voters, as this measure stands to discourage any and all attempts at multiple votes, as well as help identify those who can vote as such.”
Also, the organizations demand that the Executive ensures adequate voting conditions, in direct proportion to the number of voters abroad, so that they may freely express their options.
At the same time, the undersigned organizations state that, should the electorate cast a negative vote on Parliament’s proposal to have the President resign, it is mandatory that MPs check their standing as representatives of the public will and subject themselves to an electoral test, thereby taking up full responsibility.
Last but not least, the 17 organizations are appealing to all Romanian citizens and asking them to contribute to solving the “crisis situation in which Romania finds itself,” by massively attending the vote.
According to Sorin Ionita, the Romanian Academic Society representative, “Romania is currently trailing behind Croatia with respect to the democracy criteria that the European Union has asked our country to meet, in order to become a member state.”
“We now find ourselves in a situation in which we’ve earned a BA degree but realize we never passed the Baccalaureate,” Ioniţă said, adding that Parliament should reconsider its referendum-related decision that the 17 undersigned organizations are vilifying, while the referendum should only have citizens answering two questions, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Sorin Ioniţă also voiced concerns regarding what he deemed “the possibility to even have the 2008 elections postponed.”
It is worth mentioning that, at the end of Wednesday’s press conference, held at the GDS headquarters, Mircea Toma stressed that all the affirmations made by those who attended the action represented the organizations’ opinions, not those of the attendees.
The list of signatory organizations includes: Academia de Advocacy, Agenţia de Monitorizare a Presei, Alianţa Civică a Romilor din România, Asociaţia ‘Pro Democraţia’, Asociaţia ’21 decembrie 1989′, Asociaţia Revoluţionarilor fără Privilegii, APADOR-CH, Blocul Naţional al Revoluţionarilor 1989, Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, Centrul de Resurse pentru Participare Publică, CENTRAS, Centrul Român pentru Jurnalism de Investigaţie, Fundaţia ‘Gheorghe Ursu’, Grupul pentru Dialog Social, Romani Criss, Societatea Academică din România, Societatea ‘Timişoara’. The list is still open, according to representatives of these organizations.