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June 18, 2021

Emergency Ordinance on recalculation of military pensions adopted by Chamber, scandal looms

The Chamber of Deputies’ assembly adopted, yesterday, with 168 votes “in favour”, 116 votes “against” and seven blank votes, the bill for the approval of the Govern­ment’s Emergency Ordinance (OUG) no. 1/2011 regarding the recalculation of military pensions. The debate lasted approximately two and a half hours. The representatives of the opposition criticized harshly OUG no. 1/2011, arguing they would contest it at the Constitutional Court. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) deputy Eugen Bejinariu denounced the fact that, by this piece of legislation, the army hierarchies were reversed, arguing that the Boc Government, backed by the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) and president Traian Basescu, “is making fools of these people”. On the same occasion, several members of the Retired, Reserve and Laid-off Military Cadres’ Trade Union staged a protest in the hallways of the Chamber, complaining that they had been denied access to the balconies to witness the assembly meeting in which the deputies were debating the OUG in question. In fact, only eight members of the nearly 50 who requested access to the hall were allowed in during the proceedings. The Chamber’s secretary general, Gheorghe Barbu, “blamed” the Regulations, explaining that citizens are granted access to the hall within the number of seats available, based on an application addressed to the secretary general.

The press claims the ordinance was adopted in a fraudulent manner, as at least five PDL deputies returned a double vote. Officially, the law for the adoption of the ordinance passed with 168 votes, one above the minimum needed for an organic law to pass. In reality, however, there were maximum 163 MPs representing the ruling coalition in the hall.

According to impactnews.ro, some Democrat-Liberal deputies voted using two cards to ensure the necessary number of votes. At least five deputies were seen voting in this manner. Three of them were shot on camera while voting with two cards. Supposing they were the only ones who voted in a fraudulent manner, the law would have obtained, by a fair vote, three votes less, which would not have been enough for it to pass through the Chamber.

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