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March 23, 2023

Basescu’s campaign kicks off

The suspended President said he is aware of the hostility of many Romanians, but he had the obligation to go on with his election campaign and tell them the ‘truth’ about USL’s ‘dishonest’ politicians.

‘Hostility exists, I have known that for quite some time, but my obligation is to explain. I am convinced Romanians are not hostile to truth, but are hostile to dishonest politicians,’ Basescu said in his press conference in the yard of his campaign headquarters Wednesday night. Basescu  also noted that he had watched how Premier Victor Ponta ‘moved dishonesty all the way to Brussels’, and explained that he ‘had to call Parliament in order to put conditions imposed by CC in clarity’. ‘It is unfair to make a president already elected twice, after eight years in office and there years of crisis, gather 51 per cent of the vote. I am convinced Romanians will not participate in this manner of doing politics’, he said. Regarding the way in which the referendum will be organised, Basescu said USL must act fairly and give him ‘the minimum chance’ he had to obtain a favourable score. ‘USL has to understand that, if it wanted to present the president of Romania with a requirement that is difficult to fulfil by a president who has been through eight years in office, if it wants to do it, then it must do it fairly, without trying to distort and hinder the minimum chance that I have’, he said.The suspended president also accused an attempted modification of the voters lists ahead of the referendum on July 29. ‘They have been trying for a few days to say that the voters lists that were valid on June 10 are no longer valid on July 29 and want to reduce the number of voters from 18.2 M to 15 M. That’s unfair and Romanians refuse to accept such game. It’s unfair because the voters are registered with the Ministry of Interior, People’s Records and Statistics. The Statistics have said there are now about 19.5 M Romanians in Romania but, according to Mr. Ponta and Ministry of Interior, the 1M Romanian citizens in Italy, the almost 1 M in Spain, those in France or Germany are not Romanians’, he said.The suspended president also called on PM Victor Ponta to cancel the Executive Decree no, 41/2012 on the organisation of the referendum on July 29 also by an executive decree rather than by calling the Parliament in extraordinary session to operate legislation changes.First reactions from Moscow

The impeachment of President Traian Basescu may seem illogical from the point of view of Romanian-American relations, but this lack of logic is just an appearance, according to an analysis published by the Voice of Russia. The authors claim Washington needed the Romanian president to be impeached as soon as possible and could not leave the process with the locals.  ‘At a first glance, Traian Basescu was the perfect vassal to the USA: he sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, permitted the deployment of the ballistic missile defence system (turning Romania into a priority target for Russian missiles), made verbal attacks on Russia and has been a supporter of American interests on EU decision-making bodies. Given all that, many supporters of the tenant at Cotroceni have thought that the American protection for the Basescu regime was stable and immutable. Reality turns out to be very different’, reads the commentary published by the Voice of Russia. According to the Voice of Russia, the fact that General Wesley K. Clark (former Army Chief of Staff) and the quick reconsideration of position by Ambassador Gitenstein are indications that Washington has decided to support USL in the local political struggle.

CCR: Majority of registered voters have to take part in referendum

The Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) decided yesterday that a majority of registered voters have to take part in the referendum in order for the latter to be validated. A majority of voters would then have to vote in favor of impeaching President Traian Basescu in order for him to cease being Romania’s President, according to Mediafax. Moreover, the institution noted that the law that modified article 10 of the law number 3/2000 on organizing a referendum is constitutional only on these conditions. At the same time, CCR claims that this represents an essential condition for the referendum to effectively express the citizens’ will, representing the premise of an authentically democratic manifestation of popular sovereignty, in line with the principle spelled out in Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution. The Court points out that no constitutional text conditions the lawmaker’s right to opt for establishing a certain majority that would have to vote in an impeachment referendum. Nevertheless, CCR does not point out in any way that its constitutionality control has been extended over the emergency ordinance too or that its decision on the law can be extended to the emergency ordinance, especially since the text of the emergency ordinance is identical with that of the 2007 law, back when the Court established that the provisions are in line with the constitution, according to Realitatea.net. Moreover, PNL Vice President Mihai Voicu presented yesterday a document that the Venice Commission approved in 2006 and that recommends that in all situations there should be no minimum voter turnout threshold for a referendum so that those abstaining from voting will not be assimilated to those voting “no”, according to Mediafax.He pointed out that this document forms the basis of the explanation as to why the form of the law presently enforced through the emergency ordinance was declared constitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2007. Voicu stated that the Commission’s decision has the number 371/2006, the document being titled “Guide for organizing a referendum.”

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