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September 29, 2022

Opposition closer to gaining majority in Senate

USL Senators suspended the parliamentary strike to attend plenary meeting debating and adopting overdue laws related to MCV.

The opposition was closer to obtaining a majority in the Senate after the Democrat-Liberals have also lost another Senator on Sunday. The hypothesis was confirmed yesterday by PNL President Crin Antonescu who said the Social Liberal Union will gain the majority this very week.  He noted that, when the majority ‘is established as such’, the opposition would resume activity in the Senate. Antonescu’s assertion was based on the fact that, as of yesterday, his party has a new MP – Caras-Severin Senator Iosif Secasan, who had resigned from PDL and joined PNL. The information has been confirmed by the leader of the Liberal political group at the senate, Puiu Hasotti. ‘He will soon announce his resignation (as a PDL member – our note) in parliament, but I understand it won’t be today (yesterday – our note), because he couldn’t travel to Bucharest’’, Mediafax quotes Hasotti as having said. Currently, the power and the opposition are even, each with 66 senators. The MP who could tip the balance is an independent – Mircea Geoana, a former PSD leader and ex-Speaker of the senate. PSD and PNL recognise the fact and hope Geoana will keep his work and be ‘consistent’. ‘If Mr. Geoana is consistent, and I believe he will be, because he said he would back the opposition with his vote, the opposition will have 67 and the power 66 senators’, Hasotti also said. He added that the Senate would not be blocked as long as ‘the opposition is in majority, at least in theory’. The idea of gaining majority in the Senate is also supported by PSD leader Ilie Sarbu, who reiterated on RFI, yesterday, that, should the opposition be in majority, USL’s parliamentary protest might end. Asked if he had talked to Mircea Geoana lately, Ilie Sarbu answered: ‘No. I don’t think it would have been necessary’. Yesterday, PDL Senator Mihaela Popa resigned as Vice-President of the party, noting that she would carry on as a regular member. Popa says she was disappointed by what party leader Emil Boc had had to say about PDL First Vice-President Sorin Frunzaverde’s resignation, namely that he had appointed him as first vice-president at the party congress the previous year. ‘If I, as a teacher, say after some time I am sorry a student of mine passed an exam, it means that I committed an exam fraud. The same applies to PDL. It can only mean that the party did not have free election’, Popa explained. If her decision was followed by a resignation from PDL after some time, things would be radically different in USL’s favour, who would no longer depend just on Mircea Geoana for having majority in the senate. However, against all expectations, PDL Senator Radu F. Alexandru, recently named as member of the Audio-Visual Council said yesterday that he will not resign from the Senate in the next three months, as he doesn’t want to destabilise the current majority. Meanwhile, the opposition Senators yesterday decided to suspend their strike and attend the plenary sitting debating and voting on the laws needed for the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification (MCV). ‘Today (yesterday – our note), we will participate in the plenary meeting, the quorum condition will be met. (…) We will only be there to vote on the three items on the agenda: the code of civil procedure, the appointment of a magistrate to CSM and the Notary Law’, Ilie Sarbu said, noting that USL senators would also attend the voting on the leadership of the National Integrity Agency (ANI).

USL wants to sack Roberta Anastase

While at the Senate things seem to be developing in USL’s favour, the opposition representatives are paving the way to also winning ‘supremacy’ in the lower chamber. The main ‘move’ would be the dismissal of Roberta Anastase as Speaker of the chamber of deputies over repeated violation of the regulation. ‘At the first plenary sitting where PDL will have the courage to be, the first item on the agenda will be a request for the dismissal of Roberta Anastase’, PSD leader Victor Ponta said yesterday, hinting at the decision made by the chamber standing bureau who established that it would not hold plenary meetings this week, the MPs having scheduled committee work. ‘PDL people are very frightened and have suspended all camber activity until after Easter. They skip work and cash the pay. We have protested and donated our pay’, Ponta also said. He noted that USL was accusing Anastase of fraud during the voting on the Pension Law, as well as on other occasions. But the opposition hopes to also obtain a majority in the chamber after PDL MPs of Caras-Severin Gheorghe Hogea and Valentin Rusu has said, last week, that they would follow Frunzaverde in PNL. Anastase, on the other hand, claims Victor Ponta has ‘a medical problem’ that she cannot deal with. She also said Ponta ‘was lying’ when saying that PDL MPs got very scared and stopped all chamber activity until after Easter. The speaker says a similar situation also happened last year, because there are ‘extraordinarily important laws which need to go though committees’, which is actually a European practice she takes over.

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