Romania’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the government should decide the date for local and parliamentary elections which are scheduled to be held this year.
The court also ruled that extending the mandates of local mayors and counselors by emergency ordinance was not permissible.
The court’s ruling on Wednesday means lawmakers will have to adopt a law scrapping the decree passed on May 13, which extended mayors’ mandates.
Under that law, local officials and councils were allowed to stay in office for a maximum of 60 days after the state of emergency has ended.
The court hasn’t published the reason for its ruling and it’s possible that it will say that Parliament should have a role in establishing the dates.
That could be a problem for the minority Liberal government, as it doesn’t have enough votes to push legislation through Parliament.
Romania postponed local elections for mayors and local councillors which were scheduled for June due to the coronavirus pandemic which disrupted every aspect of life in Romania.
President Klaus Iohannis imposed a state of emergency in mid-March which ran until May 15. Since then, Romania has gradually eased the lockdown, and will continue to lift restrictions this month.
Since the 1989 revolution, the government has set the date for elections, but it’s more complicated this time as the Liberals form a minority government..
The Liberal Party is reportedly considering September 27 for local elections and 6 December for parliamentary elections.
The Social Democratic Party, Romania’s largest group is said to favor holding local and parliamentary elections on the same day, which they believe will enhance their chances of getting a better score.