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Ponta: “President Basescu should resign in November”
Prime Minister Victor Ponta says President Traian Basescu should step down in November, immediately after the validation of the newly elected head of state.
‘The Constitution clearly stipulates the term of the new president begins upon the end of the current term. If the President resigns on November 18, I will go to Cotroceni [presidential palace] on November 18, and there will be a new government. If he – as he already declared – insists on carrying on despite the shame, despite the illegitimacy till the last day, we shall nominate the new government and the new prime minister afterwards. From the constitutional point of view, things are very clear. I think it would be common sense for Mr. Basescu to resign on November 17, but honestly I have stopped counting for some time now on Mr. Basescu’s common sense; rather, [I count] on his lack of common sense. This would be normal,’ Ponta said on Sunday night at Romania TV.
According to the PM, the best thing for Romania is to avoid political crises, and Traian Basescu ‘showing some respect for Romanians and Romania.’
‘I think the most serious and the best thing for Romania would be to avoid, as much as possible, of course, any new political crises. I have perhaps exaggerated with [the date of November] 17, I think the result of the presidential elections will be validated on November 18-19. It will be validated, and then Mr. Basescu should say, ‘I did enough harm to you, it’s enough you voted me down in 2012, and I still stayed, here, I am withdrawing a month earlier and let the legitimate president rule’; but then again, this would mean Mr. Basescu, at the end of his term, showing again some respect to the Romanians and to Romania. I don’t think he will, and it’s pointless to delude ourselves he would become, after 9 years and 11 months, a serious man and a good man. I don’t think he will,’ Ponta added.
He mentioned that, if President Basescu chooses to get through his term, he will stay in his premier office until December 21.
‘You see, exactly 25 years ago, another president [Nicolae Ceausescu] left on December 22. You see, history sometimes jokes with Romania,’ Ponta said
Udrea says she would be the Romanian President to carry on Basescu’s projects
People’s Movement Party’s candidate to presidency Elena Udrea said on Sunday night at Romania TV she would be the Romanian president who carries on the projects of the incumbent head of state Traian Basescu. If she is not elected, she will continue as a politician and party leader, she added.
‘As regards Traian Basescu’s heir, someone will follow at Cotroceni, that’s a sure thing. Of course, if I’m the next president of Romania, I’ll be the one who continues the projects started by President Traian Basescu, who keeps fighting to preserve the independence of the Judiciary – because now it’s independent and I think no one can deny it anymore – and to maintain and consolidate a strong rule of law and also to implement reforms launched during the term of the incumbent president,’ Udrea answered a question on whether she sees herself as Basescu’s successor.
The candidate added that if she fails to get elected, she will carry on her current political career as a party leader. ‘I don’t consider not being the next president. I am a party chair, I am a politician. All those who entered this completion, more or less involved in politics, would continue doing the same. I mean, most of them – with few exceptions – are people with a political background, with political parties,’ Udrea declared.
She also mentioned that she thinks after a couple of days of campaign, ‘as things go, it’s obvious the second round will be between [incumbent PM] Victor Ponta and myself.’
‘I’m pretty much the only one among Mr. Victor Ponta’s opponents. The rest of them all declare they could collaborate with Victor Ponta as prime minister,’ Udrea claimed.
Tariceanu suggests criminal prosecution of certain officials was politically influenced
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu suggested on Monday that the criminal prosecution of certain officials was politically influenced, stating that there were ministers that resigned, destroyed their careers, and then the Prosecutor’s Office decided not to start a criminal trial, with that happening because “the political fight goes beyond reasonable limits.”
Referring to the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) requests for the approval of the criminal prosecution of former ministers Ecaterina Andronescu and Serban Mihailescu, who are currently Senators, Tariceanu asked the journalists to read the Constitution and see that “MPs have immunity solely for political statements.”
“In relation to this thing, what is possible solely with the Parliament’s – in this case the Senate’s – approval? Arrest, detention or search. Apart from that all the other mechanisms function normally, as in the case of any citizen. The MPs can be investigated and even deferred to court. They can also be convicted and end up having to carry out the sentence. There is no kind of restriction apart from what I have mentioned,” the Senate Speaker stated.
He also invoked the fact that MPs can be detained as a result of a sting operation. “There is no extra immunity,” Tariceanu insisted. “I don’t believe it’s normal to play around with people’s freedom,” the Speaker of the Senate added. He was asked whether in his interpretation of the Constitution and of the laws in force the criminal investigation of the two PSD Senators could continue even if the Senate were to decide against it and whether the case could end up in court. “Why not? It wouldn’t be the only case. But I don’t want to jump the gun. I don’t know what my colleagues will vote. We have to wait and see the report of the Juridical Commission and we will be able to decide. There is the possibility of lifting their immunity, there is the possibility of a different attitude. I don’t know what to say and it’s not my role to do it,” Tariceanu added.
“I am concerned with the wish of secret services heads to be highly visible public figures”
Tariceanu believes that the secret services chiefs should meet a consensus among political parties for the change of the head of state not to lead to the change of the management of these services as well.
“I am highly concerned with the wish of secret services heads to be highly visible public figures. I do not think this is their role. In Great Britain or Israel, the secret service chief does not appear in public. As for the management of these services, I would prefer a choice that would give stability and credibility to these services in order to remove any suspicion of partisanship or political influence. To this end, those appointed to these positions should garner a certain consensus among political parties for these changes not to occur when a new Romanian president is elected. This is my perspective as regards the functioning of secret services,” Tariceanu told Romania TV private broadcaster on Sunday.

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