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January 31, 2023

USL to organise large protest rally tomorrow in Bucharest

PSD leader Victor Ponta warned the European Parliament over the protests staged these days at country scale. “Romania has become the victim of a gradual destruction process,” Ponta said.

By    Daniela Baragan

After briefing the European Parliament about the current political situation, Opposition representatives seem to have also agreed over a large protest rally they announced earlier this week. Yesterday, PNL submitted to the Bucharest Municipality a formal request for a rally in the Capital. Liberal sources, quoted by Mediafax, said that the meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and will also be attended by party members and fans from the rest of the country, not just from Bucharest. The information was confirmed by sources with the Municipality, which received PNL’s request for the rally. However, the starting point of the march is still unknown. According to realitatea.net, the Bucharest branch of USL plans to set as meeting point the Union headquarters of Kiseleff Avenue. The matter will be discussed today by the central leadership of USL. The Conservative Party (PC) too will join the USL protest. PC leader Daniel Constantin yesterday announced that the decision was made at the pressure of local party branches. “There is a pressure from party members; it is not us that are calling them,” Constantin said, quoted by Mediafax.
The Opposition mobilised itself very rapidly in view of this rally, given the first announcement was made at the beginning of this week and it was only about calling an extraordinary session of the Parliament regarding the social tension that is currently spreading through Romania. According to a press release issued yesterday, a first discussion about the USL request will take place today, in the joint Bureaus of the two Houses of the Parliament. Also yesterday, speaking on RFI, PNL vice-president Norica Nicolai explained why the Parliament should meet in extraordinary session, against the background of protests and violence in Bucharest. “In my opinion, the president must come in Parliament and clearly explain the situation of the country, what will happen this year,” Nicolai said, quoted by HotNews. According to the Liberal politician, the government too must give explanations, in the context of widespread protests all over the country. The Opposition is also pushing forward with its campaign of gathering signatures in support of dismissing the president of the country. According to realitatea.net, the online petition initiated by USL has been signed by 50,000 people so far.

Possible EP resolution on the situation in Romania

The S&D, ALDE and Green groups of the European Parliament (EP) will send a joint delegation to Romania, which will write a report in view of a possible Resolution of the EP on the political situation in the country. The announcement was made yesterday, in Strasbourg, by PSD president Victor Ponta, at the conclusion of a meeting with European leaders, whom he handed a written account of what USL considers to be “the abusive acts committed by the ruling power and the skidding from democratic norms.”

According to Ponta, the representatives of S&D and ALDE will demand in the EP today, at the beginning of talks about Hungary (generated by the adoption of a new Constitution), that Romania – too – becomes the subject of analysis and monitoring, and the resolution on Hungary also refers to Romania. “Over the last two years, Romania fell victim to a process of gradual, but systematic destruction of democratic mechanisms, in a process very similar to the skidding experienced by Hungary,” Ponta warned European leaders, quoted by realitatea.net. According to the PSD president, “the power and attributions of the Parliament, as defined by Constitution, have been limited by the excessive use of the responsibility taking procedure,” while “the president of Romania publicly assumed, during this whole interval, the role of prime-minister, aggressively imposing his proposals upon the Government, from amending the Constitution to the acts that reform the Education or Health systems.”

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