The failure of the main party supporting Romania President Traian Basescu, the Democrats (PD), to lure a majority of voters to a referendum called last Sunday by the head of state is now being transferred to PD party branch leaders. PD secretary general Vasile Blaga declared on Monday after a party meeting that the central leadership of the group would reshuffle several party branches. Blaga also admitted he was dissatisfied with the elections results of the PD in the first EU elections that took place in the country also on Sunday.
The November 25 referendum was called by President Traian Basescu in an attempt to push through a radical uninominal voting system which he saw as a means to reform the political class in Romania. But voters turnout was well below the necessary 50% threshold needed for the referendum to pass.
The first European elections in Romania also took place on Sunday. PD received most votes - above 30% - among Romanian parties, but well below the expected 40% forecast by previous opinion polls.
For his part, PD president Emil Boc said his party would pursue a legislative bill on the introduction of a two-round uninominal voting system in Romania. He said that while the turnout at the referendum on the issue was very low on Sunday, the majority of active voters (some 90%) supported uninominal voting.
Blaga assured that both the activity and results of party branch leaders will be closely analyzed and serious measures will be taken where the party scored poorly in the EP elections. Sources within the party announced that PD leaders identified 12 such branches.
Rumors circulated on Sunday evening and Monday morning that President Basescu asked the Democratic Party leadership to resign soon after the exit polls were released, accusing them of not being able to mobilize the population to vote for the European Parliament elections and his referendum.