President-elect of Romania Klaus Iohannis took the presidential oath of office on Sunday, during a ceremony before the plenary session of the Senate and the Deputies Chamber. “I swear to devote all my energy and to put all my skills to work for the spiritual and material prosperity of the Romanian people, to observe the Constitution and the laws of the country, to defend democracy, the fundamental rights and liberties of the citizens, the sovereignty, the independence, the unity and territorial integrity of Romania. So help me God!,” Klaus Iohannis said quoted by Agerpres.
Before this moment, the national anthem of Romania was sung and President of the Constitutional Court of Romania, Augustin Zegrean read the ruling validating the results of the November 16 presidential elections.
Reconstruction of political institutions, the first step to take
President Klaus Iohannis said in his inaugural address, that he will be the President of all Romanians and that he is honored by the trust the Romanians placed in him. “Here I stand in front of you, today, fully aware of the stakes of this moment for Romania’s future. I am grateful and honored by the confidence the Romanian citizens have given me, that of being their President, and I assure them that I will be the President of all Romanians,” Iohannis said in the speech delivered to the Parliament plenary sitting, after taking the oath of investiture. The new head of state said he was “deeply moved by the love of country which has been the driver for the voter turnout, by the Romanians’ aspiration for freedom and prosperity.” “25 years after the fall of communism, you once again made democracy and involvement triumph,” Iohannis said.
Newly sworn-in President Klaus Iohannis firmly asserts the need for the reconstruction of political institutions so as to establish “a state edifice that is here to last for 50, not just for five years.” “The first step to take is the reconstruction of the political institutions which are called upon to represent the citizens and exercise power at all levels. 2015 must be dedicated to reforming them and to building a state edifice capable to last for 50, not just five years. And here I envisage the representatives of political parties in the first place,” Iohannis said on Sunday from the Parliament floor, after taking the oath of investiture. He also pointed out that short-term thinking is the “big pitfall” in the process of reforming political institutions. “The absence of a long-term approach just as damaging as the absence of change. I understand the political rationale, the parties’ inner mechanisms, but I am asking you, party people, to equally understand that we can no longer make conjunctural decisions, that the reconstruction of the political institutions cannot start from party arrangements, petty interests, position assignments, or from the strategies for the next elections either,” said Klaus Iohannis. He added that he is pleased to see the political class shows openness to the revision of both the Constitution and the legislation on political parties and elections to Parliament.
“I am glad to see the openness I asked for, for us to start debates on the revision and the overhaul of the Constitution, the change of electoral legislation, of the laws on parliamentary elections, including the reduction in the number of lawmakers, the election of local authorities, vote by mail and electronic voting, the change of legislation on political parties, including financing for them and their election campaigns,” Iohannis added.
Not in the last place, the head of state said that “Romania cannot stay anymore the country of great expectations and paltry results, the country of squandered time and lost opportunities,” so that at the end of his term in office, he wants to be able to show the Romanians that “projects are being carried through, that we built solid institutions, set in place sustainable laws and regulations.”
“At the end of my term in office I want us to have the satisfaction of having capitalized on each and every chance, of leaving behind a stronger and more united Romania, but for this we must roll up our sleeves. Things will not happen overnight, and will neither happen spontaneously. We will have challenges and pitfalls to face, and we should not underestimate the resistance to change and fear of new, which are often the most severe within the system, but we will overcome all these if we always bear in mind what we have pledged to build,” said Klaus Iohannis.
Iohannis to call the political parties to consultations for reconstruction of major Romanian public systems
President Klaus Iohannis also announced on Sunday in the speech delivered to the Parliament plenary sitting that he will call the political parties to consultations on three fundamental issues related to the reconstruction of major Romanian public systems. “An essential chapter we need to rebuild is that of the major public systems, and there’s more. We’ll have to think in perspective and ask ourselves how to make them work not only now, but one year from now or two generations. We all have been saying for years that education is a priority, we want a health care reform, we want a system of pensions ensuring a decent life. However, we still did not achieve these things. How we explain the fact that although we set them as priorities, education and health are the first to bear the consequences of political crises, circumstances and calculations. We know the answers to these questions. If today we close a chapter of 25 years and we assume a new beginning, then it is time to relate differently also to the major public systems, how we build an efficient and competitive education system, how does it look a fair and efficient health system, what should we do for Romania to be able to pay decent pensions in the long term, how to address the demographic issue. We’ll have to sit down and discuss these topics in order to reach consensus. In the shortest time I will call political parties to consultations, to decide together on three fundamental matters: what country targets we set as regards these chapters, a permanent working and dialogue formula, and a timetable including milestones and actions to move from words to action,” the head of state said.
According to Iohannis, the governments will never find enough funds for education and healthcare, “they will never have the courage to make fundamental changes, even system rethinking, if they do not know where they are heading to and what is their final objective.”
“Great changes are not made by waiting for the perfect socio-economic and political conditions, but by assuming a vision and working constantly with responsibility and determination to fulfill it. When we do this, the Romanians will no longer seek to create their future beyond the country’s borders. (…) And although reconstruction is not ready yet, they will want to contribute to it, because at that time, Romania will be a country where the politicians respects the citizens, a country that knows what it wants and where is heading to,” Klaus Iohannis said on Sunday in his inaugural address
“There is no other way than that of a corruption-free country”
The fight against corruption must be continued, because there is no other way for Romania than that of a corruption-free country, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Sunday in his inaugural address. “I hope we all have the wisdom not to repeat past mistakes. If there is truly political will, and not just statements of intent, then we shall make decisions leading to sustainable construction, beyond partisan interests. In terms of rule of law and judiciary’s independence, as well as the fight against corruption, the steps made so far must necessarily be continued. Their guaranteeing and action in their spirit must become normality in Romania. The President has an important role in this regard, which, of course, I will assume. But the entire political class should clearly understand a principle: there is no way for Romania than that of a corruption-free country,” Iohannis said in the speech delivered to the Parliament plenary sitting.
The head of state stressed that at the end of his term, he wishes corruption would no longer be on the public agenda, the institutions work for the citizens and the politicians “would have understood definitively they are working for the public interest, and not for personal or group interests.
Patriarch of the Orthodox Church gives his blessings to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) Daniel gave his blessing to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Sunday at the presidential swearing-in ceremony before the Parliament. “God, bless the leaders of our country to work for your glory and to the benefit of the faithful Romanian people, for us all to glorify you, the uncontainable God and in the Trinity worshiped the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and to shout from the bottom of our hearts: Glory to you, our God, the Giver of good, for ever and ever! Amen!” Patriarch Daniel said in the joint solemn meeting of the Parliament.