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September 19, 2019

Basescu-Ponta-Antonescu meeting in Senate Speaker’s office Tuesday night

The main theme of the talks was the CVM report expected next week. The president suggests to hold the constitutional review referendum and European election simultaneously, in May 2014.

President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the Speaker of the Senate, Crin Antonescu, had a ‘secret meeting’ in Antonescu’s office Tuesday night. According to journalist Radu Tudor’s blog where the information emerged first, the meeting ook place at about 8 pm and had been requested by the president. According to the source, the main subject was the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report set to be published next week, the two legal codes – civil and criminal, the courts of law and the statute of prosecutors. Other subjects in the area of national security were also addressed, such as anti-terrorist fight following the recent attacks in Algeria where two Romanian citizens had been killed. Victor Ponta reiterated the proposal he had made during the first meeting the three had (in December, when the controversial agreement was signed with Traian Basescu), which would mean that the presidential term is shortened to allow simultaneous presidential and European elections in May 2014. The prime minister also opened a discussion on the modification of the Constitution, suggesting a referendum this autumn. Basescu, on the other hand, proposed to hold the referendum together with the European Parliament elections in May, the source further notes. Since no decision was made in those two matters (shortening the president’s term and simultaneous presidential and European elections and simultaneous constitution referendum and presidential election in May – a/n), the parties agreed to have another Ponta-Antonescu-Basescu meeting in the forthcoming period in order to set up a clear time-table for all those political events. Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu confirmed later on the authenticity of the information, saying that he did meet up with the premier and president at his office at the Senate. ‘Mr. Basescu wanted to see the prime minister and the speakers of the chambers about the CVM. The meeting took place at the Senate, last night. That was the subject. (…) Nothing spectacular, just regular things’, Antonescu said during a telephone intervention on Antena3 TV yesterday. Asked about the idea of holding European and presidential elections simultaneously in 2014, Antonescu answered: ‘That was a side topic, not really a subject. At some point, PM Ponta let the president know about his or our – USL’s – choice. (…) It was not a subject that was debated, it was simply an idea Victor Ponta brought up’. Asked what the president’s response was to the proposal, Antonescu said the reaction was not significant, meaning that he neither rejected nor embraced it. ‘He took note’, the USL co-president added. According to him, President Basescu would have liked the constitutional review referendum to take place simultaneously with the election for the European Parliament.Asked whether he believed an agreement could be reached with Traian Basescu on organising the presidential election before term, the USL leader answered: I don’t know if an agreement is necessary. As long as we find the constitutional means, things can also be imposed’. He reminded that the Constitution overrides the various political actors’ positions.

Remaining steadfast on appointment of general attorneys, Antonescu says

On the other hand, Crin Antonescu stated that the talks with the Premier and the President also touched on “the impasse” registered in the appointment of the new general attorneys, however the points of view expressed on this issue remain different: “The President seems to lean towards a negotiation on this issue, but I believe he has no partners of negotiation. (…) As long as we finally have a Justice Minister that enjoys uncontested reputation as a magistrate and as an independent politician I don’t see the point in having political negotiations over this.” At the same time he pointed out that other “things of a technical nature” were discussed, concerning the MCV, such as the appointment of new Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) members and re-voting within the Senate the law on relieving courts.

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