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August 3, 2021

Antonescu: Gov’t behaved with timidity, hesitation and confusion

The interim president said that “Ponta himself seems threatened and intimidated”. Secretary of state with the Interior Ministry (MAI) Nicolae Cabulea, the head of the Safety and Public Order Department, was officially put under criminal investigation by the Prosecutor’s General Office for abuse of office.

Speaking on Antena 3 Tuesday evening, interim president Crin Antonescu took the first stance which could be described as “rather nervous” against the government and PM Ponta, speaking about the recent inconsistencies related to the lists for the July 29 referendum on impeaching Traian Basescu. “State institutions must not allow themselves being intimidated, and I refer mainly to the government, which left the impression – I must say it – of certain timidity and hesitation (…) The government must take all measures so its institutions are not intimidated, and to protect all the citizens of the country against the threats and intimidations used by a Traian Basescu that placed himself outside the law and against the responsibility implied by his official statute. This is what I think the government must do,” Antonescu said.He clearly stated that he had no contact with the judges of the Constitutional Court and does not personally know them, except for Augustin Zegrean, who was his colleague in the Parliament. As for the premier, Antonescu made a really surprising statement, saying that “Victor Ponta neither threatened, nor intimidated (Augustin Zegrean). Victor Ponta himself seems rather threatened and intimidated these days, he made no statement, no action and no gesture against, or involving the Court.” On the other hand, Antonescu said that the confidence between him and the premier is much stronger than 3 months or 2 years ago.

Premier Victor Ponta answered that he does not feel “threatened or intimidated” over the issue of electoral lists, and he does his regular job at the government, while having a very good collaboration with the interim president. “I feel neither threatened, nor intimidated, but I have just one thing to say, which was also confirmed by Mr. Antonescu: we collaborate very well,” Ponta said.Interim president Crin Antonescu also explained that the government will have to answer the request of the Constitutional Court regarding the updated permanent electoral lists, adding that citizens living abroad do not participate in the quorum.Tough attack on Basescu

Antonescu accused suspended president Traian Basescu and his people of organising “a conspiracy against democracy and against the rule of law.” “Someone (Basescu) who is already on the edge of the law and who attempts a conspiracy against democracy and the rule of law, this is what we see. (…) Nobody – person or institution – that represent democracy in this world, from the US ambassador to the president of the Venice Commission, has the right to participate in this conspiracy which Traian Basescu and his people are organising against the rule of law in Romania,” Antonescu stated.“There continues to exist a support, under special forms, granted to Traian Basescu by people and institutions outside Romania, and this is incorrect,” he added, quoted by Mediafax. Plus, the general prosecutor’s office should have come with a public position concerning the “coincidence between the decision of prosecutors and the orders given by Traian Basescu.” Antonescu also insisted on “warning” the suspended president that he will be a staunch opponent of Basescu and his people, and only by “murdering” him will they be able to silence him, no matter how terribly they will insult or slander him. 

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