BUSINESS POLITICS

Modifications to Statute of MPs spark new disputes

“You’ll either clearly explain what you want to do or you’ll no longer do it and that’s it,” PM Victor Ponta told PSD MPs yesterday during the party leadership’s weekly meeting.

PSD President Victor Ponta asked the participants to the party’s National Permanent Bureau (BPN) meeting yesterday to better explain the modifications to the Statute of MPs, adding that “there is always a very thin line between poorly explaining and falling into demagoguery.” “In regard to the discussion concerning the Statute of MPs: if you’re not doing it clearly don’t get upset that the media attacks you for not explaining or for the fact that not everyone understood very well. We are not offering any extra immunity, in fact we have no way of offering more immunity. There is only the fact that an MP cannot be arrested or searched, which, from what I know, is the case in 26 of the 27 European Union member states,” the Premier stated, being quoted by Mediafax. Ponta told his MP colleagues, members of the BPN, that they have two options: they will either clarify the procedures, along with the CSM, the Prosecutor’s Office and all the other parties involved, or they will drop the modifications. On the other hand, PSD Senator Dan Sova, a jurist by trade, claims that it is not good for changes to be made to the current procedure on lifting an MP’s immunity. “I believe it’s good for the immunity to remain as it is, in the form it has had until now. (…) I’m not in favor of strengthening the Parliament’s role here. We have to let the judiciary do its job, the role the Parliament has had so far is sufficient,” he said. Asked about the proposal that the members of the Juridical Commission should no longer have the analysis of the request to lift an MP’s immunity among their prerogatives, he answered: “I don’t believe that can be done by someone other than the Juridical Commission. I don’t believe a statute commission can deal with such cases.” In what concerns the proposal that the two Chambers’ Juridical Commissions should inform the CSM about their rejection of a request to lift an MP’s immunity, the PSD Senator underlined that the plenum is sovereign and their notifications are consultative.The modifications to the Statute of MPs are not backed by the Democrat-Liberals either. “Our opinion remains unchanged. (…) We talked with Mr. Stanisoara (Mihai Stanisoara – editor’s note), the leader of MPs within the Lower Chamber, let’s see if USL will maintain its observations, the modifications to the statute. In fact, I don’t even know whether we’re talking about the entire USL because PNL’s position is different, it shows the taking of a step back given the statements made by Mr. Antonescu (the PNL President stated at the end of last week that the aspects concerning the request for a green light on prosecuting an MP “should not be tinkered” – editor’s note). So under no circumstances do we want the strengthening of Parliamentary immunity, on the contrary,” PDL President Vasile Blaga stated.

Prosecutor’s Office proposes rephrasing of some provisions

The High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office proposes the rephrasing of some of the provisions included in the draft project on modifying the Statute of MPs, including those concerning detainment, arrest or search requests, considering that the current phrasing could lead to difficulties of interpretation, a communiqué shows. Thus, the General Prosecutor’s Office has told the MPs that detainment, arrest or search requests should not be accompanied by evidence from the file. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the proposed modification of the Statute would mean that Parliament would take the courts’ place. According to Mediafax, the new Statute of MPs could be voted today, in a joint session of the two Chambers of Parliament.

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