Ioan Rus (PSD) surprised everybody yesterday morning, when he announced his resignation from the position of Minister of Interior. Before resigning, Rus insisted on saying that the number of voters present on electoral lists is 18,294,514, the very figure vehemently denied by his fellow politicians of USL. Rus explained the evolution of the number of voters present on the permanent electoral lists between local elections and the referendum for impeaching the president. “The Ministry of Administration and Interior organised, in the spring of this year, the local elections based on the electoral lists and the calendar approved by the Ungureanu cabinet. At that moment, 18,315,880 Romanian citizens had the right to vote. (…) The referendum for impeaching president Traian Basescu was organised shortly after. By the effort of all local public authorities, experts of the ID and Data Bases Management Department, these lists were cleaned of those who – one way or another – had lost the right to vote, so on the referendum lists there were 18,294,514 citizens, 21,366 fewer,” Ioan Rus explained.
He added that, after the referendum, the Constitutional Court demanded information from MAI about these lists, and the ministry communicated these data, while warning about “certain vulnerabilities” regarding the precision with regard to the people present on Romanian electoral lists, because of various reasons. “Starting with that moment (the CCR demand regarding the lists) me and the Ministry of Administration and Interior were subjects of much pressure put by Romanian politicians, starting with Traian Basescu and ending with Crin Antonescu. This is unacceptable; I am a correct politician and set myself the limits of my dignity. I cannot take part in anything that means infringing the law in Romania,” Rus said. He added that he wants to send Traian Basescu and Crin Antonescu, “with all modesty, the message that behind their decisions there are a people and a country.” Rus also announced the resignation of his fellow cabinet member Victor Paul Dobre (PNL), who is not in Romania now. Dobre confirmed the move for Mediafax, saying that he made this decision “because of personal reasons”.Head of Directorate for Persons Record and Databases Management, criminally prosecuted
Quaestor Constantin Manoloiu, head of the Directorate for Persons Record and Databases Management, has been officially indicted, legal proceedings starting against him for malfeasance in office, the Public Ministry announced yesterday. The quaestor was summoned at the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office (PICCJ) yesterday in order to be heard in the matter concerning the Constitutional Court’s request, since the information included in official documents is contradictory. “The defendant, as head of the Directorate for Persons Record and Databases Management from within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, failed to respect the provisions of Article 5 of Emergency Ordinance 682 issued in July 2012, an ordinance that called for technical-organizational measures in view of the July 29 impeachment referendum,” the aforementioned source explained. Constantin Manoloiu stated yesterday that he will not resign because he is a professional and the accusations “lack relevance, they come and go.” Suspended president Traian Basescu issued a veiled warning against Manoloiu on Friday for sending to the Court a document stating that the Ministry of Internal Affairs cannot vouch for the accuracy of the figure of 18,292,514 registered voters. “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,” Traian Basescu stated.
Pro and against
Interim president Crin Antonescu voiced his surprise at the accusations of political pressure made by Rus and said for Antena 3 that he never talked with him, either directly or on the phone. However, he said that there are reasons for Rus to resign, “which pertain to how the ministry he led did the management of the referendum.” “I wholeheartedly agree that Mr. Rus had all reasons to resign. I noticed the skidding related to my name, because I never was among those who made public comments against Mr. Rus. This is about the capacity of the prime minister and of the ruling coalition to operate these replacements” Antonescu said for the aforementioned source.Opposition party PDL considers that, more than ever, the entire Ponta cabinet must resign, for organising the July 29 referendum to impeach president Basescu. PDL leader Vasile Blaga said yesterday, after the meeting of the party BPN, that the resignations of Ioan Rus and Victor Paul Dobre hint that they do not want to further involve the Ministry of Interior in a political initiative of Victor Ponta aimed at conducing a mini-census that will remove 1,300,000 voters from electoral lists, in order to get the referendum validated. This is for the first time after December 1989 when the Minister of Interior clearly speaks about the acting president exerting pressure on the Ministry, Blaga said. He added that the data regarding population are permanently updated by the MAI department, which every 10 days writes off the list those who deceased and introduces those who were born. Social-Democratic Party (PSD) honorary president Ion Iliescu said that Social-Democrats have nothing to reproach resigning interior Ioan Rus, who, in Iliescu’s view, did not make a mistake when he said publicly that there were 18 million voters, despite outlining the figure was in his opinion inaccurate. Iliescu expressed the view that given the relatively high mobility of the population, the Romanian administration must verify the number of the stable populations, voters respectively, on an annual basis. PSD Vice-President Marian Oprisan said that Rus and Dobre should have been more careful with befriending Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) President Vasile Blaga, given his the Social-Democrat vice-president saw as “rather suspect” Vasile Blaga’s statement last May that Ioan Rus and Victor Paul Dobre are his only friends in the Social Liberal Union (USL). He also said that the two resigning ministers acted wrong and they should have communicated at the soonest, as the law demands, with local mayors on re-updating the lists.