POLITICS

Ponta says referendum on monarchy would be fair

Prime Minister Victor Ponta told Romania TV private broadcaster late on Sunday that a referendum on the form of government should be held in Romania, and if the Romanians wanted monarchy and he were the president, he would resign from office.
“I am also willing to resign from office in another situation [the other one if a new parliamentary majority supported Traian Basescu for the position of prime minister]. I believe that in the upcoming years, in Romania there should be a period not only of public debate, but decision times, meaning a referendum on the form of government. I think that the majority of the Romanians, even nowadays as we speak, voice support for a republic. However the monarchy has become more attractive compared to the early nostalgic period and I believe that at a certain point during my term, perhaps until 2016, we should hold such a referendum related to the form of government. I think it would be fair,” Ponta said.
“Basescu battles less with myself than with intelligence services”
Victor Ponta considers that President Traian Basescu, by the row stirred by his allegations that there is an ‘undercover officer’ among the presidential candidates in Nov. 2-16 elections attacked the intelligence services rather than him, since the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) refused being used by the head of state in the electoral campaign.
He was referring to Basescu’s allegations that Ponta was an undercover SIE officer from 1997-2001.
‘Mr Basescu battled less with myself than with the intelligence services, particularly with the SIE but with SRI too, for a very simple reason: these intelligence services did not agree to be used in the electoral campaign by Mr Basescu’, Ponta told Romania TV news channel late on Sunday.
‘I was not a SIE or SRI agent, but it seems to me we are speaking of modern services, not the (communist-era) Securitate (secret police – editor’s note) to which Mr Basescu had written tones of files’, the prime minister said.
He added the only accusation made by the president on him was the one of plagiarism.

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