PNL – USR simple motion on justice defeated in Chamber of Deputies

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The simple motion on justice titled “PSD – The Master of Justice ?! Is that so…”, initiated by the parliamentary groups of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR), was rejected on Wednesday in the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 104 to 162 and 7 abstentions.

The simple motion was undersigned by 92 PNL and USR Lower House members. The document invokes the PSD Governments of the last 17 years, stating that their recurrent theme has been the subjugation of the idea of independent judiciary and the appointment in key positions of prosecutors or judges who would answer “only the precious directives of the party-state.”

The signatories of the motion also mentioned Government Emergency Ordinance no.13 (OUG 13), which the Government adopted early this year, pointing out that only the prompt reaction, in early February, of the civil society, of many institutions, professional organisations, NGOs, and of the parliamentary Opposition resulted in the immediate repeal of this legislative act.

PNL and USR also point out that the appointment of Tudorel Toader as Justice Minister, “one of the most qualified persons to ever hold this office,” created huge expectations that were swept away “once the bill modifying the Justice Laws was tabled, proving once again that for Mr Tudorel Toader the only interests that take precedence are the interests of Liviu Dragnea, not at all those of the Romanian rule of law and society.”

The debate on the simple motion was held on Tuesday, with Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader attending.

In the motion, PNL and USR asked Justice Minister Tudorel Toader not to promote the amendments to the Justice package in the version presented, arguing that he pursues a “hidden agenda”.

“As regards the reform of Justice, the PSD started governing on the wrong foot. The memory of the infamous moment of OUG No.13/2017 amending and supplementing Law No.286/2009 on the Criminal Code and Law No.135/2010 on the Criminal Procedure Code is still fresh. Only the prompt reaction, in early February, of the civil society, of many institutions and professional or non-governmental organizations and of the parliamentary opposition determined the immediate repeal of the regulatory act,” stated the signatories of the motion.

Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on Tuesday rejected the accusations levelled against him in the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary sitting, stating about the alleged lack of transparency of the bill amending the Justice laws that these changes were necessary because the relevant legislation dates from 2004, but also having consideration of the 2015 request of the Superior Council of Magistrates to have the relevant legislation updated.