Ponta-Basescu row over president’s statements, CSM notified

The notification refers to President Basescu’s statement to a local TV station saying that it’s a good thing that there have been no arrests during the election campaign. Basescu: If DNA detained people now, it would be accused of being involved in the campaign; Ponta should not lie.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Tuesday asked Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc to notify the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) of President Basescu’s statement on putting an end to the arrests by the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) during the election campaign. ‘We have a performing economy, we have very good international relations, we must also have an independent justice. I saw President Basescu’s saying that he stopped the arrests during the electoral campaign, but will restart them after. It’s an irresponsible statement like so many others. Mr Cazanciuc, I ask you to notify CSM. If that’s not interfering in the judiciary … First of all, I believe that it’s a lie. I don’t think President Basescu has the right to call for arrests not being conducted during the campaign or at any time (…) The mere fact that the president of the state makes such statements about the electoral campaign and the arrests operated by the DNA must be sanctioned, I believe,’ Ponta said at the beginning of the Government sitting.
The president answered the premier, in a brief statement delivered at the Cotroceni Palace, inviting him to give up lies at least now, when there are important visits” to Bucharest (reference to the visit paid by Joe Biden and the Czech president). “If politicians are allegedly not summoned or detained, this is not a necessarily electoral motivation, but I believe very much that if politicians were arrested now, many parties would say that DNA became involved in the campaign,” Basescu said. The president added that justice “does very well if it protects itself from the felony of many politicians.”

“I do not know if this is the policy of DNA, but justice does very well if it protects itself from the felony of many politicians who accused that their arrest is political and not for their deeds. I invite Victor Ponta to give up lies at least now, when we have very important visits,” Traian Basescu added.
In an interview granted to TV channel TeleM, when asked about the fact that DNA seems to have revved down its engines when the campaign started, Basescu said that he believes “they did well during the campaign, which happens in all civilised countries, not to come with arrests that could influence the campaign.” When the host said that one cannot thus speak of a stoppage and that “after May 26…”, Basescu mentioned: “DNA will resume its activity, which has not stopped even now. You understand by the activity of DNA or DIICOT when they arrest politicians. There are many files under way now at DNA, DIICOT, people are called to be questioned, investigations are being made, so this is no sign about DNA not doing its job anymore”. In the interview, Basescu also said that many people, PSD members and journalists, whom he learns were threatened by PSD Deputy Sebastian Ghita, whom he described as “mobster”, adding that those who were threatened “are wrong to stay silent and endure.”
Ponta: I’m proud to be the only politician Basescu is afraid of
PM Ponta said on Monday evening that he is the only politician President Traian Basescu ‘is afraid of’, adding that he took as a ‘compliment’ the statement made by the head of State in which he claimed he will do everything in his power for Ponta not to become Romania’s president.
‘I took the statement of Mr. Basescu as a compliment, because it means that I’m the only politician he is afraid of. Because he said I am the only one he does not want to see holding the position of president, that he will figure out how to fool and control the others, he will no longer be the president, but he will still control the system. The fact that he is afraid only of me, it’s a good thing, I’m proud of this fact,’ Ponta told Antena3 private broadcaster. He also said that following the meetings he had in the country, he reached the conclusion that the Romanians’ biggest expectation is that Traian Basescu will be held accountable before the law for his over nine years in office.’(…) He knows very well that if I became the president, all those files that are currently suspended, starting with the Nana file, the threat against Gabriela Firea, these files being suspended until the end of the term of president, would be further examined,’ Ponta said.
Iliescu: Ponta mostvisible exponent of Social-Democrats
Prime Minister Victor Ponta is the most visible exponent of the ruling Social-Democratic Party (PSD) leadership, the party’s Honorary Chair and former President of Romania Ion Iliescu said on Monday at a book launch.  ‘Right now, he [Ponta] is the most visible member of PSD’s leadership, and he also accumulated some experience, although he is a young prime minister,’ Iliescu answered a question on PM Ponta’s suitability as PSD’s candidate in the presidential elections. Yet, Iliescu pointed out that he does not intend to advise Ponta on eventually running in the elections. ‘Momentarily, I do not give any advice. I haven’t been asked to, either,’ the Social-Democrat elder added.
On the other hand, the former president said that the personal relations between the acting head of state, Traian Basescu and Premier Victor Ponta affect the good working of institutions and damage the image of the country, also the decision making capacity in sensitive moments, while adding that he would have called a CSAT meeting on Ukraine if he were still president. Iliescu criticised acting President Basescu, describing as “inappropriate” his statements on voting for PMP. “As long as he is in this official position, he must impose himself some rigour in any public statement and in any idea he voices,” Iliescu mentioned. As for the dispute between Romanian authorities and Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin, Iliescu considers that Rogozin was to blame for it and his message about “the bomber” was “insolent.”

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