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June 25, 2022

Local officials’ migration sparks hot debate

The emergency ordinance permitting locally elected officials to migrate without losing their term has caused controversy in the diplomatic world. The ordinance was published in the Official Journal and the draft law on the approval of the ordinance has now reached the Senate, the first chamber to address the normative act.

ACL leaders Klaus Iohannis and Vasile Blaga on Tuesday met with US Ambassador in Romania, according to PNL sources quoted by Mediafax. The talks addressed the adoption by the Government of the emergency ordinance on the migration of local officials as well as ACL’s presidential election fraud allegations, the quoted sources report. Contacted on the phone, PNL spokeswoman Alina Gorghiu neither confirmed nor denied the information.
US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson states in an interview to ‘Gandul’ on the ordinance on local official migration that the best way to take would be a transparent parliamentary procedure.
‘Prior to the move made by the Government, we talked to people in the Government, we talked to people outside the Government, at several levels. Our declaration did not take a stance on the substance of the matter, as it referred more to the procedure and to the fact that we believe that a transparent parliamentary procedure would be the best way to take when it comes to changing legislation’, he said in an interview to gandul.info.
Asked to comment on the fact that PM Ponta had carried on with the emergency ordinance despite the US Embassy’s reaction before its adoption, Thompson said the diplomatic mission’s concerns regarded the procedure.
‘I believe we need to take into account that none of these matters has anything to do with the United States, but they have to do with Romania, with its leaders and with the ruling process. It is a decision the Government made based on its own calculations and – I imagine – on its effort of doing what needs to be done. We expressed our concern regarding the procedure. We would like to see a more transparent procedure when it comes to such things’, Thompson said.

Asked if it’s an anti-democratic thing for one to change the rules of the game while playing, the US diplomat reiterated that procedures must be transparent. After talking to Thompson, Ponta stated yesterday that the answers given by the diplomat about the Ordinance were “very balanced and very fair”, and showed that, subsequently, they have been distorted in the media.
Among political parties, ACL is going to officially request the Ombudsman to notify the Constitutional Court in the emergency ordinance allowing local officials to change parties, the PNL MP invoking arguments that will be invoked on the unconstitutional nature of the normative act. PNL and PDL MPs on the Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies want to hear Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc in the Committee on the opinions issued on the emergency ordinance permitting the migration of local officials as well as on the letter written by Minister Eugen Nicolicea regarding the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction over Parliament decisions.
In Iasi, Local Councillor Anca Preda announced yesterday she was resigning from PPDD and become independent, blaming the rapprochement of PPDD Iasi to the interest group of PSD Mayor Gheorghe Nechita. It is the first resignation of a local official in Iasi after the publication of the ordinance allowing migration. Local officials who will change party within the 45 days allowed by the emergency ordinance allowing their migration will be able to do that only once, the option being for a party, for a national minority organization or for becoming an independent official. These provisions appear in the emergency ordinance of the Government published in the Official Journal and were not present in the original draft. ‘For 2014, by derogation from the provisions of article 9 paragraph (2) letter h1) and article 15 paragraph (2) letter g1) of the Law no. 393/2004 on the Regime of Locally Elected Officials, with all subsequent amendments and revisions, mayors and county council presidents, local councillors and county councillors, as well as candidates who have been declared suppliant have 45 days after the entry into force of this ordinance to make an option in writing and only one time on the political party, organisation of the national minority that wish to be members of or may become independent, without them losing the office acquired in election’, the draft ordinance reads..
Senate Secretary General Ion Vargau told Mediafax on Tuesday that the normative act had been registered by the Secretariat General of the institution and would follow the regular legislative path.
The draft law for the approval of the emergency ordinance will be put on the agenda of the Standing Bureau who will distribute it for debate to the specialized committees who will issue their report to be then voted on by the whole Senate.
After the vote in the Senate, the draft law will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies who has decision-making powers, according to mediafax.ro.

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