On Tuesday, PDL Deputies Marius Dugulescu and Dan Liga were caught on camera voting the military pension law using two different cards. Images were aired by several TV stations.
PSD has filed a petition with the Standing Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies demanding the cancellation of the vote and a new ballot on the government emergency ordinance on the recalculation of military pensions for the reason that it had been fraudulently adopted. The announcement was made during a press conference, yesterday, by the PSD group leader in the lower Chamber, Mircea Dusa, who noted that the petition referred to article 213 of the Chamber Regulations on sanctions that may be taken against deputies for Regulation violations. ‘(…) we demand that the Standing Bureau cancel the vote, (…) and that we revote on the bill’, Dusa said, according to Mediafax. In the context, he noted that a few colleagues from the ruling coalition had voted using two cards and who, under the Regulations, face the sanction of suspension for a period of 15 days.
The Democrat-Liberals caught ‘red-handed’ are now making excuses. ‘I did not vote by two cards’, Marius Dugulescu told the press. However, he refused to say in whose place he had voted. ‘I have nothing to state’, he said. Dan Liga could not be contacted to give explanations.
Trying to get off scot-free, after the press had reported on the fraud in Parliament, the representatives of the power tried to assign the blame to the opposition by saying that PSD leader Victor Ponta had also voted on the government ordinance. ‘Victor Ponta voted at 1:56, when he was actually at Cotroceni. This is the real piece of news. Why don’t you cover this? Aren’t you interested in news about a party president?’ Dugulescu asked the journalists at the Parliament.
Mircea Dusa however explained that Ponta couldn’t have voted because, at the time of the vote, he was in talks at the Cotroceni Palace. According to him, Ponta only attended the plenary session, but not the ballot.
Geoana: ‘i am indignant at the fact that the law was adopted by fraud’
Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana in turn demands a revote on the emergency ordinance recalculating military pensions by the Chamber of Deputies. In his opinion, a revote is ‘the minimum that can be done for these people who have been humiliated and ignored by the power’. ‘I am indignant at the attitude of the deputies belonging to the ruling coalition who, being unable to mobilise thermoses for the vote on the emergency ordinance of the Government they support, have to resort to fraud whenever an exceptionally important law, with a deep social impact needs to be adopted’, Geoana said, according to Realitatea TV. In the context, the speaker of the Senate reminded of a similar incident involving the pensions law, which had been also adopted ‘by fraud and theft’. ‘Either the ruling coalition deputies do not have the courage to assume the anti-social and anti-economic measures of the Government they support, or they simply cannot make the minimum effort to go to work. Either way, this situation cannot continue’, the Social-Democrat also said.
However, the chance of a revote on the bill recalculating military pensions is slim, because such decision has to be made by the whole of the Chamber where the opposition is in minority. On the other hand, this is not the first time MPs are caught voting with both hands. Only three months ago, on March 8, two opposition deputies were filmed while voting on behalf of two colleagues. Ironically enough, the Legal Committee chose not to penalise them. But the most serious Parliament fraud occurred in September 2010, when Chamber Speaker Roberta Anastase announced from the presidium that the pensions law had gathered over 170 votes in favour although in the hall there were only 70 deputies.