ForMin Aurescu: Malta and Nigeria - the only states to have officially announced not allowing external voting

Malta and Nigeria are the only states that have so far officially announced in writing that no polling stations can be set up on their territory for Romania's parliamentary election this December, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday. "Romania's missions abroad have been instructed as early as June to contact the competent foreign authorities in the countries of residence for the assessment of the real, concrete possibilities of organizing polling stations on the territories of these states and to inquire about the hygiene and health protection measures that must be observed during the voting process. We already received answers from many states. We have a clear situation," Aurescu said at the beginning of the government meeting this evening. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban asked the Foreign Minister if there are countries that do not allow the organization of polling stations, citing a political leader who claimed that [external] "voting is not possible anywhere in the world." "This is wrong. So far, only two countries, Malta and Nigeria, have officially communicated in writing that polling stations cannot be organized on their territories. Otherwise, there are in principle or preliminary agreements from states such as Austria, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, the Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, the USA, Hungary, Turkey and there are also others that communicated this agreement in principle, of course, taking into account the evolution of the epidemiological situation; the final details for the organization of the ballot and their implementation, in strict compliance with the protection and safety rules, will be established later, depending on the evolution of the pandemic," Aurescu specified. He added that there are states that traditionally allow polling stations to be organized only at the premises of diplomatic missions, citing the example of Canada. PM Orban asked Aurescu to devise a communication plan to keep the Romanians in each country informed on how to vote and recommend them to register in as large as possible numbers for the vote by mail. "We now have the agreements in principle, but they are all probably conditional on the evolution of the pandemic," Orban added. AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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