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July 1, 2022

Senate plenum votes the committee that will probe the referendum

The commission will call for hearings Morar and Kovesi, asking them to explain why voters were questioned “on the hood of the car and forced to swear on the Bible upon leaving church,” the chairman of the Senate’s Law Committee, Toni Grebla said.

The plenum of the Senate approved Monday evening, with 59 votes and three abstentions, the forming of a senatorial committee that will look into the cases of misuse of authority reported in relation to the investigation conducted by law enforcement institutions in the case of the referendum of 29 July 2012. PSD will be represented in the committee by Georgica Severin, Toni Grebla, Ioan Chelaru and Lazar Sorin Constantin, PNL by Ioan Ghise and Cristian David, UDMR proposed Albert Almos and UNPR appointed Vasile Nedelcu. The PDL group, which was entitled to three members of the committee, appointed nobody and did not attend the voting procedure. USL sources stated yesterday, for realitatea.net, that the commission will be led by PNL’s Ioan Ghise. Prior to the vote, the leader of PDL senators, Cristian Radulescu, announced that the Democrat-Liberals will not designate members in this committee, as they do not want to “fall into this trap.” “Simply by reading the name of this committee one can realise the absurdity of this initiative which infringes the democratic and constitutional principles,” Radulescu said, quoted by realitatea.net. Furthermore, he added that PDL will challenge the USL proposal at the Constitutional Court (CC).On the other hand, PDL MEP Monica Macovei claims that the “assault on democracy in Romania continues” because “USL wants the judiciary investigated by Parliament,” referring to the setting up of the Parliamentary commission meant to investigate the referendum. At the same time, European Commission spokesperson Mark Gray announced yesterday that the EC will introduce in its upcoming report on the judiciary the MPs’ initiative to create a commission to investigate the manner in which prosecutors are investigating the irregularities registered during the impeachment referendum on July 29. On the other hand, the chairman of the Senate’s Law Committee, Social-Democrat Toni Grebla said yesterday for RFI that the chiefs of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and of the General prosecutor’s Office (PG) will be called for hearings with the committee, to explain “why voters were questioned on the hood of the car and forced to swear on the Bible upon leaving church.” According to Grebla, the committee will not call for hearing the prosecutors that probed the referendum, nor will it demand to see any file. “First of all, we needed to draw an alarm signal on how state authorities and institutions understand to do their duty. (…) This is about the management of the institution, namely why it was thought as necessary to place policemen and prosecutors at the gates of churches, on religious holidays, to wait people, asking them to write statements on the hood of the car and swear on the Bible,” Grebla mentioned.

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