Election campaign continues until Saturday morning; European Parliament closes hearings of Commissioners-designate
ELECTIONS The campaign ahead of the second round of Romania's presidential elections on Sunday continues until Saturday morning at 7 am local time. The incumbent president Klaus Iohannis, who is endorsed by the National Liberal Party, now in power, is facing the former Social Democrat prime minister Viorica Dancila. According to the Permanent Election Authority, the total number of registered voters is 18,217,411. In the first round, which saw 14 candidates in the race, Iohannis won almost 38% of the votes and Dancila a little over 22%. Voter turnout stood at 51.19%. In the diaspora, where voting took place over three days, a record turnout was reported, with 675,000 people casting their ballots. The second round of voting is also taking place over three days abroad: on Friday between 12 am and 9 pm and on Saturday and Sunday between 7 am and 9 pm, with the possibility for the voting to be extended until midnight. The foreign ministry has already distributed the materials needed for the voting process abroad. 4,608,1754 ballots were distributed among the 835 polling stations set up abroad, 100,000 more ballots than was requested in the first round.
EU The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents, including the EP president David Sassoli and the leaders of political groups in the EP, Thursday completed the hearings of the 26 Commissioners-designate and gave the green light for the last procedure before the new Commission may start its term in office on December 1, one month later than originally scheduled. The Conference of Presidents also authorised the publication of the evaluation letters. The vote on the investiture of the new European Commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen will be held during a plenary session in Strasbourg on November 27. On Monday the EP committee on foreign affairs approved the candidacy of Hungary’s Oliver Varhelyi for European Commissioner for Enlargement, after on November 14 specialist committees also approved the candidates designated by Romania (Adina Valean for Transport Commissioner) and France (Thierry Breton for internal market).
FAIR The 26th edition of the Gaudeamus Book Fair organised by Radio Romania is under way in Bucharest. Thursday’s programme featured book launches and talks with writers, historians and experts from various fields, as well as debates on topics such as contemporary poetry in various interpretations and writers who opposed dictatorships. 900 different events are scheduled over the five days of the fair and 230 exhibitors are showcasing their products, from very diverse fields. This year's edition of the fair is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the anti-communist revolution of December 1989. The poet Mircea Dinescu and the actor Ion Caramitru, who were prominent figures of the revolution, are honorary co-presidents of the fair.
MIGRANTS Six Algerian migrants, who caused a fire on the vessel on which they had illegally reached the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanţa, went missing on Thursday morning, the Coast Guard reports. The border police that were surveilling the Panamanian-flagged ship NORDIC Barents, which arrived from Turkey, were announced by a crew member that the illegal passengers were no longer aboard. The Coast Guard added that there are suspicions that the crew aided the illegal border crossing.
INDICTMENT The Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted for bribery,
fraud and breach of trust in 3 separate cases, Israel's Attorney General
announced on Thursday. Netanyahu has allegedly received luxury gifts from
businessmen and is suspected of attempting to secure positive news coverage in
Israel's biggest daily, Yediot Aharonot,
in exchange for measures against the rival publication Israel Hayom. Benjamin Netanyahu is also accused of trading government favours
for positive coverage on the news website Walla.
It is for the first time in the history of Israel that a sitting prime minister
is charged with a crime.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu, Cristina Mateescu)