POLITICS

Next Constitution: USL leaders want clear-cut provisions for president powers

Liberal leader says that Constitution will not be changed the way President Basescu wants but the result will not be a Constitution against him.

Crin Antonescu, PNL President and Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Amending the Constitution, stated yesterday during a debate organized by the “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University that although not all articles of the Constitution will be amended there is complete openness towards any proposals concerning any article. He pointed out that the goal is to avoid falling in the trap of limiting the process to issues that stir passions from a media point of view, such as the President’s prerogatives. “The Constitution is not made in order to clarify the relations between the two officials, President – Premier, it’s not being made for the future President, for the current or future Premier, it’s not being made just for politicians and the political life. The Constitution is being made for the Romanian citizen,” Antonescu said, according to Mediafax. He added that the risk of speeding-up and forcing through the process, given the fact that USL has a two-thirds Parliamentary majority, “is conspicuous,” pointing out that this should be avoided. He added that the parties that today make up this “huge majority” understand that amending the Constitution cannot be made “only by us, as we want, for us.” “The Constitution is being done not for an electoral cycle, not only for those in the majority, but with the hope that it garners the consensus of most of the society,” Antonescu added. At the same time, the PNL President also stated that the current Constitution was not done as President Traian Basescu wanted and will not be amended against him either. “There is the risk of losing ourselves in a battle with an immediate electoral sense and effect and we are determined to avoid committing ourselves to such a battle. It’s not a Constitution made as Traian Basescu wants, it won’t be a Constitution amended against Traian Basescu,” Antonescu said. The Liberal leader chairs the Parliamentary Commission on Amending the Constitution. The PNL President also stated that USL has to avoid the risk of entering a petty polemic that is below the level and stakes of the process of amending the Constitution, a polemic to which the Head of State invites or provokes: “I don’t plan on entering a polemic with him here, but I have to say that we don’t accept the premise that Mr. Traian Basescu considers to be fundamental, namely the unicameral Parliament premise, being forced on us because the electorate pronounced itself in favor of it at one point and we don’t accept the premise of starting the process based on a project that the Presidency or a group of advisors tried to force on us without consultations, without Parliamentary debates.” He stated that nobody ignored the result and meaning of the 2009 referendum, but underlined that one should not ignore the fact that the referendum was imposed in abnormal, inappropriate conditions because it was attached to and overlapped elections that had a different stake and because a public debate through which citizens would have been informed about the unicameral Parliament issue was not organized.

Ponta: New Constitution should prevent President from taking part in political meetings

The new Constitution should ban the President from taking part in meetings of a political character, including meetings of European parties, like President Traian Basescu currently does, Premier Victor Ponta said on Sunday evening during a talk-show. “It seems to me even comical, I saw that the President is actually preoccupied with what is going on within PDL, meaning he is taking care of the campaign within PDL, which is very far from the idea of being the president of all Romanians. I believe that the future President of Romania should never do that again and we should spell out in the Constitution the fact that the country’s president does not take part in meetings of a political character. The fact that he takes part in the meetings of the European People’s Party is abnormal. (…) You won’t see any right-wing president that goes to the EPP except President Basescu,” Ponta said. He added that he has no fear that Crin Antonescu as future president will do what the current head of state is doing, but the provision should be introduced in the Constitution for the presidents that will come after Antonescu.

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