POLITICS

Ponta: USL target is not Senate Speaker office, but replacing president Basescu

The representatives of the opposition claim, however, they will contest at the Constitutional Court the potential appointment of a new Speaker of the Senate from the ranks of the ruling power.

By Daniela Baragan

The opposition lost any chance of winning the Senate Speaker office, which Social-Liberal Union (USL) representatives acknowledged to some extent. However, to mask their defeat, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and National Liberal Party (PNL) leaders claim the Union’s target is not winning the second most important public office, but replacing the Basescu regime, that is, the head of state and the prime-minister Emil Boc. On the other hand, PSD president Victor Ponta claims that USL will challenge at the Constitutional Court (CC) the potential appointment of a new Speaker of the Senate from the ranks of the ruling power. “In my opinion, the Court judges are not pathetic, as Basescu called them, and couldn’t possibly reverse the 601 decision (e.n. referring to the CC decision 601/2005 according to which the Senate Speaker office is granted to PSD until 2012, when the parliamentary elections will take place),” Ponta argued yesterday, Mediafax reports.

In turn, the PNL president Crin Antonescu stated that, regardless of how the Senate debate on the election of a new speaker proceeds, USL senators will vote for the candidate put up by PSD, Titus Corlatean. “We’ve got two things to do: first, tell them that, in terms of procedure, we think that the only group entitled to nominate a candidate is the PSD group. (…) All PSD, PNL and Conservative Party (PC) senators will give their vote to Titus Corlatean. We’ll count the votes and see. Full stop,” Antonescu stated. As regards the procedure of impeaching the head of state, the PNL leader argued no deadline had been set as yet by which the USL commission should finalise the petition (e.n. for impeachment), but things will not be left trailing. “They’re working hard on it, they don’t have a clear date as yet (…). You won’t have too much to wait,” the Liberal leader stated.

Nevertheless, the Demo­cratic-Liberal Party (PDL) MEP Cristian Preda mocks USL’s intention to initiate the impeachment procedure. “In my opinion, if they do initiate it, if the procedure is actually launched in Parliament, PDL and Traian Basescu will be on the winning side. Therefore, I encourage the opposition leaders to start the procedure (…) and they will be a great help in next year’s election, we’ll be most grateful,” Preda stated in an interview to RFI.

There are, however, voices in the PDL camp who admit most of those who have voted for Basescu so far “are fed up with him”. Nonetheless, Democrat-Liberals criticize the opposition on the ground it has made an end in itself of getting the president suspended. “Obviously, there are a lot of people who voted (e.n. for Basescu) and are now sorry for it. However, to come out and say the first thing you’ll do is bring down the president is tantamount to spreading panic. It means promising people chaos, confusion and a political crisis. This is, how should I put it, so counterproductive we may win (e.n. in the event of a referendum),” the PDL deputy president Theodor Paleologu stated. He added that one thing you can always count on in Romanian politics is “your opponent’s folly, this is something you can bank on”.

CC rules in favour of postponing wage rights won by public sector employees

According to official sources quoted by Mediafax, the Constitutional Court (CC) rejected yesterday the contestation filed against the law to postpone until 2016 the payment of wage rights won by public sector employees in court. The deputies adopted on October 12 the emergency ordinance which adjourns the payment of wage rights granted to public sector employees by final court rulings until 2016. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) contested this piece of legislation approved by the Chamber.

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