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European Parliament elections2019: Start of electoral campaign

 The electoral campaign for the elections to the European Parliament begins on Saturday, with 13 political parties and three independent candidates will compete in the race for a seat in the EP to convince voters that they deserve to represent them in the European fora in the next five years.

On May 25, at 7:00, the election campaign will end and more than 18,949,141 voters will be called to the polls on May 26.

As many as 1,269 polling stations are organised in the country, while Romanians in the diaspora can vote in the European Parliament elections in 441 stations opened abroad.

*** The start of the election campaign 

The election campaign starts 30 days before the reference day and ends on the morning of the Saturday before the reference day at 7:00 hrs.

In the electoral campaign, candidates, political parties, political alliances and electoral alliances, citizens' organizations belonging to national minorities participating in the elections, as well as citizens have the right to express their opinions freely and without discrimination meetings, public gatherings and marches, and through the media. Authorizations stipulated by the laws in force are necessary to set up meetings, gatherings and marches.

According to legal provisions, the means used within the election campaigns cannot be contrary to legal order. All the campaigning activities are prohibited in military units, in educational units during the education process, on the premises of diplomatic representations, and in prisons.

During the electoral campaign, mayors must allocate to all candidates, in a non-discriminatory manner, appropriate locations to meet voters.

Local police must protect the integrity of the legally displayed electoral panels and posters, the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) informs. In the administration and territorial units where local police does not exist, the integrity of the aforementioned advertising means is secured by the public order forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

After the end of the electoral campaign, it is mandatory to solely remove electoral materials of any kind from the inside and outside of the polling stations' premises. BEC has decided that the president of the electoral bureau of the polling station must order the removal of the propaganda materials by staff assigned for this purpose by the mayor.

The continuation of electoral propaganda after the campaign is closed refers to displaying, launching or distributing any kind of electoral items and the broadcast of audio, visual or mixed electoral messages on screens placed in public or private places or from special purpose vehicles, after 7 a.m. on May 24.

The use of special places for electoral posters is allowed only to the political parties, the organizations of ethnic minorities' citizens, to their political and electoral alliances participating in the elections, and to independent candidates. 

*** Each electoral competitor can place a single electoral poster on each electoral panel. 

An electoral poster placed in the designated places shall not exceed 500 mm one side and 300 mm the other side and the one by which an electoral meeting is convened, 400 mm one side and 250 mm the other side.

Electoral posters combining the colours in a sequence that reproduces Romania's or other countries' flags are prohibited. The application of electoral displays on the walls and pillars of bridges, tunnels and viaducts, on traffic signs, and on electronic traffic lights is prohibited..

Electoral propaganda activities cannot damage in any way the green areas, natural reserves and environmentally protected areas in accordance with laws. Using minors under 16 years of age to distribute or place electoral propaganda items is prohibited.

After the end of the electoral campaign, it is forbidden to broadcast electoral messages in audio, visual or mixed form on digital screens located in public or private places, as well as through specially designed vehicles.

The mayor, with the support of the public order bodies,must ensure the integrity of the billboards, electoral posters and other electoral propaganda material placed in authorized places. Local councils may approve the setting up on the public domain by candidates, political parties, political alliances, and electoral alliances of provisional arrangements for the distribution of electoral propaganda material if there are no restrictions on road or pedestrian traffic.

The electoral campaign can unfold in other countries than Romania only in compliance with the laws thereof.

*** Exercising the vote in the May 26 elections

Romanian citizens aged 18 and up to the reference day have the right to elect members from Romania to the European Parliament.

Mentally challenged people under the ban and offenders who, on the reference day, are convicted by a final court decision to the loss of electoral rights, do not have a voting right. Romanian citizens who have the right to vote and have reached the age of 23 until the reference date have the right to be elected to the European Parliament.

Community voters who wish to vote at another polling station on the reference day than the one where they are listed on the copy of the special electoral roll vote only if the county electoral bureau or the electoral bureau confirms, at the request of the president of the electoral bureau of the polling station that they were included on the special electoral lists.

Community voters who are abroad on the reference day vote for the election of Romanian members to the European Parliament only if they appear in the table drawn up by the Permanent Electoral Authority, which includes the electors registered on the special voting lists. 

The Romanian citizens who are listed in the voting lists of other member states cannot vote for the election of the Romanian representatives to the European Parliament. They can only vote lists/candidates in the respective state.

Voters vote individually, in enclosed cabins, by applying the rubber stamp reading 'VOTAT' (Voted) inside the rectangle with the list of candidates or the given name and family name of the independent candidate of their choice. The size of the stamp reading 'VOTAT' must be smaller than the rectangle.

*** Only one voter enters the voting cabin
The presence of any other individual than the voter in the voting cabin is prohibited. Voters who due to justifiable reasons confirmed by the president of the electoral bureau of the polling stations cannot vote on their own are allowed to ask an assistant of their choice to accompany them in the voting cabin to help them. The assistant cannot be chosen among the observers or the members of the electoral bureau of the polling station. 

After voting, the voters must fold the ballot papers so that the blank side with the control stamp is on the outside and insert them in the ballot box, avoiding the opening of the papers. The incorrect folding of the ballot paper is not a reason for its cancellation.

Upon the voters' request, if they have applied the stamp reading 'VOTAT' incorrectly, but have not yet inserted the ballot papers in the ballot box, the president of the electoral bureau of the polling station can hand each voter another ballot paper, only one time, while withdrawing and cancelling the original ballot paper.

Voting begins at 7:00 hrs and ends at 21:00 hrs. Electors who are in the voting room at 21:00 hrs may exercise their voting rights.

*** Special ballot boxes

The requests of non-transferable voters due to illness or disability for the special ballot box to be brought to them are to be submitted at the latest the day before the elections, according to a decision of the Central Electoral Bureau. Written requests drafted by non-transferable voters due to illness or disability, accompanied by copies of medical records or other official documents showing that the persons concerned are non-transportable and requesting the dispatch of the special ballot box, shall be submitted at the latest a day before the election .

According to the BEC, request to vote through the special ballot box, made by the voter, must be dated and signed, and will include the name, surname, date of birth, personal identification number, address, serial number and number of the valid identity document, as well as the address where they live.

According to Law 33/2007, republished, with subsequent amendments, persons held under a preventive arrest warrant or persons who are serving a custodial sentence but who have not lost their electoral rights may vote through the special ballot box .

*** Order of candidates on the ballot paper

The top three spots on the ballot paper in the May 26 elections to the European Parliament, are occupied by the Social Democratic Party (PSD, major at rule, ed.n), the opposition 2020 alliance of Save Romania Union (USR) and PLUS, and the Pro Romania Party.

Next follow the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the PRODEMO Party, the People's Movement Party (PMP), the Romanian Socialist Party, the Independent Social Democratic Party, the United Romania Party, the National Union for Romania's Progress (UNPR), and the National Unity Bloc (BUN).

The last positions on the ballot are independent candidates - Gregorian-Carmen Tudoran, George Nicolae Simion and Peter Costea.

*** Time to communicate turnout 

BEC, the county electoral bureaus, the electoral bureaus of the Bucharest municipality, and the electoral bureau for the polling stations from abroad will daily provide partial results, starting with 09:00 hrs, Romania time, as of May 27.

The time at which the information will be available and will be released is 11.00 hrs, 15.00 hrs, 17.00 hrs, 20.00 hrs for the time reference of 9:00 hrs, 13:00 hrs, 15:00 hrs, 18:00 hrs.