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February 2, 2023

Parliament rejects amnesty law

The amnesty and pardon law was rejected by Parliament last night with 293 votes in favour (from 297), one vote against and one abstention.
The Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies unanimously decided yesterday to file an overruling report to the amnesty and pardon draft law.
The amnesty and pardon law entered the agenda of the Chamber of Deputies yesterday, and is due to be voted today. The fast overruling of the amnesty and pardon draft law was imperatively demanded on Monday by Romania’s chosen President, Klaus Iohannis, who had insisted consistently on this subject as part of his campaign propaganda. Moreover, he had also demanded that the Parliament would start approving requests regarding the start of criminal pursuit against legally challenged members of the parliament.
“I demand the Parliament to keep their promises, to introduce the amnesty and pardon law on their tomorrow agenda and overrule it. Moreover, I demand the Parliament to discuss tomorrow all the requests from behalf of justice and approve them all”, Iohannis had said on Monday.
Victor Ponta declared on Monday that PSD and their allies would vote in the Parliament on Tuesday for the definitive overruling of the amnesty and pardon law and for the approval to cease the immunity of legally investigated MPs.
Today, the draft law will enter the plenary session vote in the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber has the right of decision for the draft amnesty and pardon law.
Chamber of Deputies Speaker Valeriu Zgonea said on Monday that he is ready to step down from office if he fails in his efforts to have the amnesty and pardon bill rejected and also have the deputies probed by the National Anti-corruption Directorate stripped of immunity. ‘I announced a long time ago that in the first week after elections we will put on the agenda the amnesty and pardon law, as well as the lifting of immunity for all three MPs (Ion Dinita, Ioan Adam and Mircea Rosca – Ed. Note). PSD must have the political courage to no longer let itself pointed at by the opposition whose only quality is that they managed to demonize us. We must listen to the voice of the people and prove that we are a modern center-left party that has the courage to act. If my colleagues do not back this move, I am ready to quit the position of Chamber of Deputies Speaker. I understood the signal given by the Romanians, and I invite my colleagues to join me in breaking out of the [negative] pattern our competitors are eager to squeeze us into. It is important that PSD sends a signal of seriousness,’ Zgonea noted.

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