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May 6, 2021

Basescu labels CC decision ‘against the law’ but says it has to be respected

The decision that the Constitutional Court took on Thursday left suspended president Traian Basescu speechless at first. Nevertheless, on Friday and Saturday he regained his composure and strength to criticize. His criticism focused on the government, Premier Ponta, Internal Affairs Minister Rus, the head of the Directorate for Persons Record and Databases Management, and the Constitutional Court. Thus, Basescu criticized the Constitutional Court on Saturday, stating that updating the lists of registered voters as they were on July 29 is “against the law” since the law stipulates that they had to be updated by July 11. “The updating should have been done within five days of establishing the date of the referendum. Since the July 29 date was established on July 6, the lists should reflect the situation as it was on July 11,” Traian Basescu stated, realitatea.net informs. The suspended president also considers that the mini-census that the government wants to organise during this period in order to find out the exact number of registered voters in the country is extremely demanding and that USL is preparing to commit fraud. Basescu added that he cannot picture Internal Affairs Minister Ioan Rus personally going throughout the country to check the real number of voters, given the fact that there are remote villages. “The lists can’t be updated as Mr. Ponta and Mr. Rus promised. The only thing they do is embarrass the Romanian government and implicitly Romania itself. (…) Compromising Romania should stop, things have gone too far and the economic effects are already dramatic. This cascade of disrespect for the law, for the Constitution and for European values has to be stopped. It’s a call I make during the weekend, maybe the minds of USL’s top leaders are better rested. They’ve concentrated their whole effort on violating the Constitution, on the coup d’état, they did what nobody has done within the European Union since the Second World War, namely they contested a referendum they themselves organized, trying to adjust the result so as to suit them,” the suspended president stated, Mediafax informs. Likewise, he pointed out that Romania will lose European money and will not be able to be a credible partner that could have its say in the negotiations for the EU’s 2014-2020 budget. At the same time, Basescu stakes on the fact that the number of voters on July 29 will actually rise by at least 300,000 persons if the government fairly and legally updates the lists. “The paradox is that the number of voters will be higher. Because those turning 18 are more numerous than those that died during this period,” the suspended president stated.In the same context, Basescu warned the mayors on Friday, stating that the government wants to put the responsibility for the illegalities that took place during the referendum on the local authorities’ shoulders. The suspended president warned the mayors “not to enter a game which they can only leave by entering a jail cell.” He underlined that the prosecutor’s offices have taken over all lists, “including the lists used in voting centres” and “we will see that many hundreds of thousands of Romanians that were not in the country are registered as having voted in their villages.”Another issue that Basescu tackled concerned the supplementary lists for Romanians living abroad. He claimed that there can be “no bigger illegality and bigger stupidity” than removing from the permanent lists of registered voters the Romanian citizens that left abroad, pointing out that Romanian citizens have electoral rights no matter where they live. Nevertheless, Premier Victor Ponta explained that removing Romanians that reside abroad from permanent lists would prevent them from appearing on both permanent and supplementary lists. Basescu also pointed out that his main priority is no longer to return to office but to dismantle the electoral fraud networks and to establish the responsibility of those that organized the referendum on the basis of a figure they themselves later denied.The suspended president also accused quaestor Constantin Manoloiu, head of the Directorate for Persons Record and Databases Management, of “lying” either prior to or after the referendum. “The decision that the Constitutional Court took yesterday was generated by a quaestor – we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking the Internal Affairs Minister was not aware and did not arrange this with him – who wrote to the Internal Affairs Minister that the figures are not good. I don’t know if that’s good, mister quaestor. You lied either prior to the referendum or yesterday. And a quaestor… I’m afraid I made you a quaestor. I don’t know if that’s good, mister quaestor,” Basescu stated. In a talk-show on Antena 3, Crin Antonescu commented Traian Basescu’s public threats against mayors and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) employees. The interim president pointed out that Basescu does not decide who goes to jail in Romania and for how long, pointing out that it is very important for state institutions to continue doing their job. He deemed that it is even more important for the General Prosecutor’s Office to understand that it is not working at the behest of “a citizen wearing a blue t-shirt when coming in front of a fence where he gives statements once in a while.”

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