Despite the president’s position, PSD leaders continue to support the cohabitation pact.
The battle between the two Palaces is far from over. On the contrary, it seems to be dredging even further, as President Traian Basescu submitted a notification to the Constitutional Court (CC) on Wednesday evening, challenging the constitutionality of the Law on Cooperation between the Parliament and the government on European matters, which refers to the ability to represent Romania in European Council, a press release issued by the Presidential Administration notes.
In other words, Basescu disapproves of PM Victor Ponta’s actions and, in a recent public appearance late Tuesday, he blamed Ponta for representing Romania externally without a mandate signed by the president. “The agreement stipulates that the president must be consulted before every visit to both the European Union Council and every individual visit of the PM. The worst thing about the Prime Minister’s external bilateral visits, of which there were many, is that they were poorly conducted. With plagiarism as a target on his back, he thought that if you say ‘Romania’… The results will be the ones I mention to him publicly: in all visits conducted without a mandate,” the president stated at a press conference held at Palatul Cotroceni, as cited by realitatea.net.
Among the arguments in favor of submitting the notification to the CC is the fact that specific provisions under the law “are un-constitutional because they violate art. 80, para (1) in conjunction with art 91 and art 148, para (4) of the Romanian Constitution republished, with regard to the Romanian President’s right, as head of state and leader of Romania’s foreign policy, to issue written proxies for the European Council, when he deems necessary, with no additional conditions from the legislative or executive branches.”
The president’s request also mentions that, after the legislative procedure was resumed, despite the Parliament’s changes to art. 18 of the Law on Cooperation between the Parliament and the government on business matters, which was sent back to the Romanian President for promulgation, so as to align the CC’s decision with the law, it “contains provisions related to the process of drafting and adopting proxies, but the Romanian Presidency’s role is warped at its core.”
Ponta: The pact can be saved
Prime Minister Victor Ponta believes the cohabitation pact concluded with President Traian Basescu can be maintained, so long as both parties are willing to. “Of course it can be saved; what matters is that people are trustworthy. It is what I want,” Ponta stated yesterday in Giurgiu. Deputy Prime Minister, Liviu Dragnea, made a similar statement for RFI yesterday morning, saying that the PM wants the cohabitation pact to work. When asked if, in his opinion, the cohabitation pact can still be saved, Dragnea replied, “Yes, I believe so. I am realistic.” At the opposite end of the spectrum, First Deputy Chairman of PNL, Klaus Johannis, stated at a press conference in Sibiu that the cohabitation pact helps neither the Prime Minister, nor the President, so he views it as useless as “Pepelea’s nail”. “It (e.n. the cohabitation pact) seemed shaky from the very start and it still does. They might as well have not concluded it, since these issues are already stipulated in the Constitution,” Johannis commented.
On the other hand, Robert Cazanciuc, Minister of Justice (e.n. and government representative at the meeting on the cohabitation pact) stated that the premises on which the meeting with Presidency representatives on Wednesday was based is that the agreement between the president and the prime minister “has to work”. “I would not say it was a negotiation, but a dialogue. This document – the agreement between the president and the prime minister – contains an article regarding a mechanism to settle disputes. (…) From the onset, all of us who took part in the meeting believed this agreement has to work and we must find solutions to ensure a proper operation of state institutions by way of the dispute settlement mechanism agreed upon,” Cazanciuc said for Digi 24. He added that each party conducted its own assessment, which will be analyzed by dialogue partners and discussed at a later technical level meeting. When asked if, in his opinion, the agreement can still work after the numerous recent statements, Cazanciuc answered, “recent statements are part of Romania’s debate and justice has been a topic for public and political debate in Romania for many years.” Foreign Affairs Minister and government representative, Titus Corlatean, and counselors to the president and presidency representatives, Cristian Diaconescu and Iulian Chifu, also took part in the discussions on the cohabitation pact.