POLITICS
Governing Liberals and outsider Popular Action merge The board of the non-Parliamentarian party The Popular Action (AP) will meet as soon as possible to put in shape the calendar for the merger with the governing Liberal Party, an AP press release informs. The reaction comes two days after the Liberals opened negotiations to for alliance with The Popular Alliance, the Conservatives and the Christian Democrat National Peasants' Party.
Romania far-right senator's initiatives breach international human rights treaties Romanian parliamentarians are summoned to vote on a xenophobic initiative but the Council against Discrimination says it cannot do anything. The draft Law for the serenity of Romanians was initiated by far right Greater Romania Party (PRM) Senator Gheorghe Funar and if applied would breach no less than six international human rights treaties.
Liberal Education minister to run for Iasi city hall in Romania local elections Liberal Education minister Cristian Adomnitei was nominated to run for the seat of Iasi mayor in local elections due to take place across Romania this spring. Several local surveys credit the minister with 5 to 8% of the votes. Adomnitei would run against the current Social Democrat (PSD) Mayor Gheorghe Nichita and several other potential candidates like Democrat Liberal (PDL) Dumitru Oprea and fashion designer Irina Schrotter.
Liberal leader: Social Democrats no longer are natural enemies of governing Liberals in Romania Liberal Party (PNL) vice-president Crin Antonescu explained for Romanian news television Realitatea TV on Monday that the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) were no longer a natural enemy of the Liberals as this role was taken by President Basescu and his party, the Democrat Liberals (PDL). Antonescu, together with a couple of other Liberal leaders are open to a post-electoral coalition with the Social Democrats. 
Democrat Liberal candidate favored for upcoming local elections in Bucharest Citizens in Bucharest planning to vote in local elections this spring would prefer to vote for the Democrat Liberals (PD-L), Social Democrats (PSD) and Liberals (PNL) according to a study by a local NGO, quoted by the Romanian public radio. Over 60% of Bucharest citizens would vote for the PDL candidate while only 37.5% would not.
A BBC-HotNews.ro interview: Doubts about uninominal voting system to be introduced in Romania Presidential counselor Cristian Preda criticizes in a HotNews - BBC interview a new electoral law that pushes for the introduction of uninominal voting in Romania and considers that the law will frustrate citizens even more since not all candidates that receive most voted in the districts will also get a Parliamentary mandate. Parliamentary relations Minister, Mihai Voicu for his part declares that local council presidents will not be elected through the uninominal voting system this year.
Hungarian Democrat Senator Peter Eckstein Kovacs to resign from Judicial Commission Hungarian Democrat (UDMR) Senator, Peter Eckstein Kovacs announced on Tuesday that he would resign as head of the Judicial Commission on grounds that his party did not support his position regarding the National Integrity Agency, aimed at providing transparency on how public officials in Romania have accumulated their wealth. 
Romania uninominal voting system to be debated in House of Deputies starting Tuesday A draft uninominal voting system reached the Romanian House of Deputies on Tuesday after long debates between governing parties and the NGOs. However, most political parties announced that they will vote the version of the law and thus no heated debates are to be expected.
New Romanian Justice minister Catalin Predoiu: I am politically independent Romania's new Justice minister Catalin Predoiu officially took over his job from interim Justice minister Teodor Melescanu on Monday. Predoiu underlined on the occasion that he was a politically independent minister and that from this stand he would give special attention to the independence of the justice acts and to uphold these principles.
25 NGOs accuse Romania's executive of promoting laws against civil society 25 non governmental oragnizations (NGOs) protest against a draft law adopted yesterday by Romania's House of Deputies that ban foundations and associations from using words that can create confusion with authorities or public institutions. The law was voted by all parliamentary political parties present.
Romania Senate adopts simple motion tabled by opposition Social Democrats on living standards A simple motion tabled by the opposition Social Democrats (PSD) demanding moves to put an end to what the PSD calls the degrading living standards in Romania was passed by the Romanian Senate on Tuesday. The initiators of the motion demand an end to increasing prices for natural gas produced in Romania, protection measures for averagea and low-income citizens and the presentation in the Parliament of a national program to combat poverty.
Final agreement over uninominal voting: fake electoral threshold of 5 percent For a party to enter the Romanian Parliament it needs to reach a 5% electoral threshold or have six candidates on the first position in electoral colleges for the House of Deputies and three in the colleges for the Senate, according to a request on changes to the future legislation due to introduce uninominal voting in Romanian elections. The request, pushed by the governing Liberals (PNL) and Hungarian Democrats (UDMR), comes a week before the bill is to be debated in the House of Deputies.
Liberal Democrats to table motion to bring down the Government The Liberal Democrat Party (PD-L) announced it will table a censure motion because the Government has not given up the car tax. The document, called "Pay back, Tariceanu", will have its final shape on Tuesday, PD-L president Emil Boc announced. The main Opposition party, Social Democrats (PSD) answered that it would not support the motion.
Opposition tables simple motion against Romania Government A simple motion was announced on Wednesday in the Romanian Senate. The main Opposition party, Social Democrats (PSD) will table the "Stop the living standards degradation" motion, criticizing the alarming prices growth. Far right Great Romania parliamentarians announced they will support the motion. 
Former PM Adrian Nastase runs for Social Democratic leadership Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase submitted his candidacy today for Head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) National Council gathering that will take place on Friday, Romanian news agency NewsIn informs. Nastase would return within the party leadership after three years.
Romanian President Traian Basescu summons party leaders for talks on Kosovo Romanian President Traian Basescu on Monday invited all parliamentary party leaders for talks on Kosovo's declaration of independence. Basescu said at at the beginning of the meeting that the unilateral declaration of independence in Kosovo was an act seen by Romania as "illegal". The meeting is attended by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
Hungarian Democrats urge Romanian authorities to acknowledge Kosovo independence Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) leader Marko Bela has said that Romania should acknowledge the independence of Kosovo as soon as possible. In a press conference organized on Monday, Bela, who leads the main ethnic Hungarian party in Romania, which is a junior member of the government, presented his party stand regarding Kosovo. He said that the progress of Kosovo was a natural historical pace. He insisted that Romania would finally be compelled to accept Kosovo's independence along with other EU member states.
Hungarian Council to organize pro-Kosovo protest in Sfantu Gheorghe The leadership of the Hungarian Council in Sfantu Gheorghe, central Romania, will organize a pro-Kosovo protest on Wednesday, Romanian daily Gandul reads, quoting Mediafax news agency. According to the source, the protest will be organized in downtown Sfantu Gheorghe, a city with an ethnic Hungarian majority.
Opposition leader demands early elections The Social-Democrat board met on Wednesday the county leaders throughout the country, in order to open a debate on possible early elections and to establish a date for the party National Council meeting. PSD head Mircea Geoana was the central attraction, after his meeting with Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, when Geoana suggested early elections - general elections on the same date with the local elections.
Romania President does not accept proposal to revoke Defense Minister Melescanu Romanian President Traian Basescu has informed PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu that he did not agree with the latter's decision to revoke Teodor Melescanu as Defense Minister and nominate him for the Justice Ministry, as announced on Monday, it came to light on Tuesday. The main reason invoked by the President in a phone conversation on Monday was the imminent approach of the NATO Summit due to take place in Bucharest.

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