Liberal and Social Democrats once again raised the issue of impeaching President Traian Basescu, this time the reason being the fact that the Head of State asked Culture Minister-designate Puiu Hasotti to provide a written statement that his Ph.D. thesis and other scientific works are not plagiarised. Although Hasotti did so, filing the written statement at the Prime Minister’s office, the gesture itself bothered the USL heavyweights. PNL President Crin Antonescu stated that if Basescu does not sign the appointment of Puiu Hasotti he will ask Liberal MPs to start impeachment procedures. He added that Traian Basescu has to learn to be a President that abides by the Constitution or he will stop being a President. “If he likes relations based on force then I’ll clearly tell him that he will not receive any piece of paper (referring to Hasotti’s written statement) and on Monday he will invest Puiu Hasotti, and I assure you he will do so without any comments,” Antonescu stated, according to Mediafax. The PNL President added that neither he nor PSD President Victor Ponta is “willing” to allow Basescu to “humiliate politicians.” Premier Victor Ponta announced in his turn that the Social Democrats MPs will take into account the Liberals’ possible decision to start impeachment procedures. Moreover, Ponta pointed out that the government will not send to the Presidential Palace the written statement that Hasotti signed on Thursday evening. “I categorically will not send it because I will send to any institution, including the Romanian Presidency, only what is legally required,” the Premier stated. In a communiqué, the government labels the President’s request as an action meant to “cast doubt” on the minister-designate. “The Romanian President can verify everything he wants concerning Mr. Hasotti’s compatibility with the office of minister, with structures he controls, without initiating preliminary actions like this request, whose obvious purpose is sabotage. (…) The government is asking the President to put an end to the furious campaign of discrediting Romania’s legitimate government,” the communiqué adds.
Hasotti to be sworn-in today
In reply, the Presidential Administration answered that the interpretation according to which President Basescu conditions Puiu Hasotti’s investiture is “malicious” and not in line with the text of the letter sent to the Prime Minister. According to Presidential spokesperson Bogdan Oprea, Basescu’s request is based on “the significant negative impact that the recent incidents concerning possible acts of plagiarism a part of the government members are accused of can have on Romania at internal and international levels.” At the same time, Oprea claims that according to Constitutional Court decision 356/2007, the President is “justified” to verify “whether the candidate corresponds to the office of Prime Minister.” Bogdan Oprea however gave assurances that Puiu Hasotti’s swearing-in ceremony will take place today, at 7 PM, at the Presidential Palace. “The President is content that Puiu Hasotti’s statement is within a state institution (the Romanian government – editor’s note),” Oprea added.
Prof. Diaconu: ‘Victor Ponta did not plagiarize my works’
Professor Ion Diaconu, who signed the forward of Premier Victor Ponta’s Ph.D. thesis, claims in an open letter published exclusively by Romania TV news channel on Saturday that his works were not plagiarized. Diaconu says that law experts can easily see this. “Presenting random fragments, without clearly pointing out the context and without taking into account the specificity of papers in this domain are clear signs of ill intent meant only to support a baseless attack in the media,” Professor Diaconu writes. He explained that when a subject of law that is very specific, such as the one concerning the International Criminal Court, “the author’s originality is ruled out in most part.” On the other hand, he reiterated that Ponta was part of the team that worked on the negotiation of the International Criminal Court’s statute, being appointed by the Romanian Public Ministry. “There is no reason to plagiarize other authors given the participation in these activities,” the professor added.