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Romania faces its first uninominal voting on Sunday

de V.O.     HotNews.ro
Duminică, 30 noiembrie 2008, 11:15 English | Politics

Alegeri parlamentare
Foto: AGERPRES
Voting began in Romania's parliamentary elections on Sunday, the first such poll to use the uninominal voting system, in which people can vote individuals at constituency level and not party lists. 18 million people are eligible to vote in these elections, which are based on a system by which future MPs are elected partially by direct vote and partially by the weight of their party's results at national level.

Voting stations opened at 7.00 a.m. and will close at 9.00 p.m., when the first exit-polls are expected. Romania elects 452 members of the Parliament - 315 deputies and 137 senators, out of a total number of 3,000 candidates.

The first uninominal voting in Romania was subject of lots of controversies following changes to the electoral law as many challenged the idea that parties would push forward celebrities with no political background so that they boost their position in Parliament; the fact that one could not choose from several representatives of a single party at constituency level; the fact that people who are away from the constituency they live in cannot vote.

Another subject of controversy was that the elections were set on November 30, one day before Romania's National Day, December 1, which means many people would be away on holiday and so would not be able to vote. That comes as apathy was already high among voters despite economic turmoil expected for the coming period has increased the stakes of the elections.

The elections pit several major parties against each other - the governing National Liberal Party (PNL), the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) in alliance with the small but influential Conservative Party (PC), and the now-in-opposition Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L), who support incumbent President Traian Basescu. Another movement expected to enter parliament according to the latest polls is the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR). The far-right Greater Romania Party (PRM) and the populist New Generation Party (PNG) fare way below in opinion polls and their chances to enter Parliament are slim.




















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