Centrul de Drept Constituțional și Instituţii Politice (CDCIP)

Gheorghe IANCU – The role of the Permanent Electoral Authority within electoral process

According to the Law nr. 373/2004 for the election of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate and the Law nr. 370/2004 for the election of the President, the Romanian electoral system has two ways to organize elections, one between two electoral periods and another during the electoral period. To handle the first case a Permanent Electoral Authority has been created, which is complemented in the second case by a Central Electoral Bureau.

The Permanent Electoral Authority is an autonomous administrative institution with legal personality and general competence. Its mission is to ensure the unitary application of legal dispositions regarding the organization and the holding of elections between two electoral periods, as well as engage in other consultations at the national and local level. For this purpose the Permanent Electoral Authority is vested in its president, who is supported by two vice-presidents. The Permanent Electoral Authority has the right to self-organization and enjoys administrative, as well as bugetary autonomy.

Number of provisions of the Law nr.373/3004 and Law nr. 370/2004 can be criticized on various grounds. In particular, the provisions of the Law nr. 373/2004 regarding the organization and functioning of the Permanent Electoral Authority which are open to question (art.26-29) refer to: the inclusion of the president and vice-presidents of the Permanent Electoral Authority info the Central Electoral Bureau;  the lack of institutional continuity between electoral periods; the requirement of counter-signature of decisions and instructions issued by the President of the Permanent Electoral Authority by the vice-presidents. In response, de lege ferenda, a number of modifications of these provisions are suggested.