After the bill for staff cuts in the Interior Ministry fell through Parliament on Tuesday and its failure seems irrevocable, the Executive is seeking for legislative means to enforce the planned cuts. The heads of departments within the Interior Ministry convened on Tuesday evening, in an extraordinary meeting called by the minister Traian Igas, to find an alternative solution to go on with the restructuring process, a solution which was to be announced yesterday.
The quickest way to enforce the staff cuts would be issuing an emergency ordinance, but, from a constitutional point of view, this is impossible. According to the president of the Constitutional Court, Augustin Zegrean, a piece of legislation rejected in a parliamentary session can no longer be brought up in the same session. Thus, a new bill on the same topic can only be issued in the next parliamentary session, in the autumn. The only constitutionally-safe procedure, which could be pursued in this legislative session, would be the Cabinet’s taking responsibility on the law in Parliament, but it is uncertain whether the Executive would take responsibility on a law for the fourteenth time and face the risk of being brought down by a no-confidence vote.
On the other hand, police trade unions called, yesterday, for the resignations of the Interior Minister and the chief of Police, Liviu Popa, because the latter were unable to reform the Interior Ministry in any other way except by making 9,500 employees redundant.
Udrea and Oprea boycott vote
According to the Conservative Senator Dan Voiculescu, the Minister of Tourism, Elena Udrea, and the Defence Minister, Gabriel Oprea, did not vote on the police restructuring bill, although they were in the hall. “This can be verified by checking the lists on the Chamber of Deputies’ website. Given that they were brought to Parliament especially to vote on that bill, their not taking part in the vote was, obviously, a deliberate act, a closely-coordinated strategy,” the senator argued, concluding that the ministers’ boycott could be a signal that PM Boc’s debarking is being prepared and that pretexts for this move are now being created.
In response, Udrea stated, for “Gandul” newspaper that she had returned a blank vote. “As regards the fact my vote was not registered, it can only be an error. I am definitely in favour of this law,” the minister argued.
Oprea instead admitted he hadn’t cast his vote, due to organizational deficiency.” It has nothing to do with my support for this bill”, he said, quoted by Mediafax.