Ponta: Social-democrats want constitutional guarantees PSD will have the PM office if it wins elections

Constitution draft greatly empowers the President, preventing abuse of power, says the premier.

Most of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD, at rule) members wait constitutional guarantees from the party leaders that the party will provide the prime minister if it wins the elections, PSD leader and Prime Minister Victor Ponta told RTv news channel on Monday.
‘As long as I am the party leader and know my party very well, I try to take it on the path where most of the PSD wants to go and, not related to it, what the people in the PSD want: they want us to govern well, they want to have guarantees that if we win the elections, it will no longer happen as in 2004 and 2008, when we won the elections and won them in vain – I am speaking of constitutional guarantees here, because, you know, the question was raised: when has it ever happened for one to win the elections and not have the prime minister? We were the ones to take such a blow, two times at that. In 2004 and 2008,’ Ponta said.
‘You have to remember, after the parliamentary elections held on December 9, 2012, President Basescu was insisting that he should appoint the new prime minister. He let it go after being told by Mr. Barroso and everyone else that he cannot break the law,’ the head of the executive  explained.
PM Ponta also stated that the new Constitution draft gives ‘many powers to the President ‘ but leaves no room for possible abuse of power.  ‘The current Constitution and the constitution draft as well, give many powers to the President because he is directly elected by the people and this is natural. But the new Constitution leaves no room for these powers to be abused, as Traian Basescu did,’ Ponta told Romania TV.
“I haven’t’ seen anywhere inside the Constitution that the President is allowed to name his driver or his doorman as prime minister, but Mr. Train Basescu told us so, of course, he had some persons at the Constitutional Court who said so,” Ponta added.
He also said President Basescu, in collusion with Augustin Zegrean (Constitutional Court president), slowed down the enforcing of the law regarding the 30 per cent threshold at the referendum.
The leaders of the ruling Social Liberal Union (USL) decided on Monday that the referendum on the revision of the Constitution will take place simultaneously with European Parliament elections, at the end of May. Asked by journalists to explain the voting system as far as senators are concerned, following the modification of the Electoral Law so as to go back to the vote by list in the Chamber of Deputies and to have no more than 300 deputies, PM Ponta answered the Senators will be elected by uninominal vote, most likely two in every county of the country, under a special law, given their role of representation of regions and foreign policy responsibilities put down in the new Constitution. ‘The Deputies’ Chamber is given a constitutional interdiction and basically, any type of law that is drawn up has to take into consideration that there can be no more than 300 (deputies- editor’s note). If you read the Constitution draft law, you’ll see that the Senate is given another constitutional role, to represent Romania’s regions, as well as some special foreign policy responsibilities (…),’ Ponta said.

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