In Romania, the „Central Electoral Office“ did not approve the joint list “Alliance 2020 USR PLUS” of the two political parties USR and PLUS for the European elections.
MEP Sven Giegold, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions and spokesperson for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the European Parliament, commented:
„Bureaucracy must not lead to political opponents of the Romanian government being excluded from the European elections. State authorities have the duty to support candidates for the European elections instead of obstructing them with red tape. We know of attempts to exclude political opponents from elections in Russia or Turkey, but not in the EU. Social Democrat Liviu Dragnea appears to be getting nervous before the European elections. The Alliance is also the list of many pro-European protestors in Romania. It should be given a fair chance for the European elections. I call on the Romanian government to ensure fair and free European elections. Now Social Democrats and Liberals in Europe must also raise their voices against Dragnea. Party loyalty must not take precedence over European values. The European Social Democrats cannot criticise Orbán while remaining silent on Dragnea. Corruption and patronage continue to flourish under the Social Democrat-liberal government.”
The two parties USR and PLUS had merged to form the list „Alliance 2020 USR PLUS“ and collected the necessary 200,000 signatures. The electoral authority criticises the fact that the legal dispute over the election of the USR party leader Dan Barna has not yet been resolved through all judicial instances and that his signature cannot therefore be accepted for the Alliance’s registration. The Supreme Court will have to decide this Saturday whether the subsequent signature of the ex-chairman of USR, Nicusor Dan, who is still registered as party leader in the party register, will be accepted. In the worst case, the two parties would have to run separately and collect 200,000 signatures each by the end of March, which could also jeopardise their participation in the European elections. Also in the last weeks there were several pro-European mass protests in Bucharest which were critical of the government. Many of the protestors sympathise with the USR. The PLUS is led by former EU Commissioner Dacian Cioloş.