Facing a new suspension proposal, President Traian Basescu stated yesterday in Parliament where he went to tackle the USL charges included in its suspension request that he calls on the MPs to carry through the suspension procedure by respecting state institutions and the Constitution. Thus, he argued that although the Presidency received the written suspension request on Wednesday evening it was unable to prepare an answer to all of its 20 pages by Thursday morning. The Head of State accused the government and the current Parliamentary majority of “showing, through the procedures they applied in the last 45 days, that they are willing to apply consistent blows to the Romanian state’s activity.” At the same time, he stated USL members that initiated the suspension procedure reproached him for his public involvement and statements, pointing out that from what he could see none of his actions were blamed. Moreover, the President believes that the main goals of the suspension bid are to put state institutions, mainly the justice system, under the control of the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) and the National Liberal Party (PNL) and to prevent the implementation of the November 2009 referendum. The President added that one of the reasons his suspension was requested is conjectural, being determined by the fact that Premier Victor Ponta ended up being known throughout the world as the “Copy-paste Prime Minister.” At the same time, he claimed that a new problem concerning Ponta’s CV has appeared, namely the fact that although he claimed he graduated a Masters programme at the University of Catania, in Italy, it turned out that the claim was false.
Nevertheless, on Wednesday the Prime Minister posted on his blog the picture of a diploma that proves he graduated a three-month course of international criminal law at the University of Catania, pointing out that he removed this from his CV in order to maintain only “the things that concern political activity.” Moreover, Basescu accused Dan Voiculescu, the founding president of the Conservative Party (PC), of allegedly stating that the justice system has to be controlled. “Your attempt to take over all offices of decision in nominating high officials within the justice system, I assure you, is mistaken and can fail at the referendum,” the President stated. Referring to his suspension, the Head of State wants the referendum to also ask for the modification of the Constitution in the sense of having a single-chamber Parliament with a maximum of 300 MPs.
Changes for the referendumOn the other hand, Victor Ponta wants the referendum to use the results of the 2011 census, which would drop Romania’s population by 2 million. The Premier stated that he asked the National Statistics Institute (INS) for data on the census results coming into force. Moreover, official sources quoted by Mediafax claimed that the government was about to hold a meeting yesterday evening in order to modify, through an emergency ordinance, the referendum legislation. According to aforementioned sources, the ordinance was to establish that the President can be impeached by 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast. According to the current legislation, the President can be impeached by 50 per cent plus one of registered voters.