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. It was also attended by the Speaker of the Senate, Calin PopescuTariceanu, by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, ex-presidents Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu, Church representatives and diplomats. ‘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. 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, under the Constitutional Court Law and in keeping with the Regulation of the joint sessions of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. 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.
‘There is no way for Romania than that of a corruption-free country’
President Klaus Iohannis said on Sunday, in his inaugural address, that he will be the President of all Romanians and that he is honoured 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 honoured 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. The fight against corruption must be continued, because there is no other way for Romanian than that of a corruption-free country, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said. ‘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.’
‘The first step to take is the reconstruction of the political institutions’
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.
‘I wish to have a powerful nation”’
Iohannis 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. “I wish to have a powerful nation”, the new head of state concluded.
President Iohanis receives the Gold Collar of the Star of Romania Order
Afterwards, Klaus Iohannis went to the Cotroceni Palace for the ceremony marking the taking over of the mandate from ex-President Traian Basescu. Klaus and Carmen Iohannis were greeted by the guard of honour and then by Traian and Maria Basescu. The four went into the Union Hall where the Romanian national anthem was played. During the ceremony at Cotroceni, Klaus Iohannis received from Traian Basescu the Gold Collar of the Star of Romania National Order. Then the two and their wives had a glass of champagne with the former and new presidential advisors.
Basescu to beer…
When formalities were over, President Iohannis and his wife, Carmen Iohannis, went to a private reception party. Numerous personalities of the political world, civil society ad culture were invited. The actor Victor Rebengiuc was among the first guests to arrive. He was followed by the Liberal Puiu Hasotti, who said: ‘Auspices are good. The day started with rain, but then the sun showed. As long as we have nature on our side, nothing can keep us. He had an outstanding speech, I especially liked it, it has a novelty component, but also a component of continuity’. Simona Halep was also among Klaus Iohannis’ guests.
…Iohannis at reception party
Having left Cotroceni for good, after ten years of presidential office, Traian Basescu, accompanied by his wife, by Elena Udrea and by a few close friends went to a pub where he was greeted by numerous sympathizers. ‘What I can genuinely tell you is that, these ten years, I also wanted to remain a human being too. Now I’m back to being a regular person’, Traian Basescu said. Asked by the press whether he was drinking for sorrow or for happiness, Basescu commented: ‘Why would I be sorry about, my man? I am back to the condition I have also wanted these ten years, the one of a free man’. As for the PMP office, he explained that ‘he would take it over when it is ready’. PMP leader Elena Udrea said, as she was walking into the pub, that she had set up an office with his personal items at the PMP headquarters for the ex-president. ‘It’s less important if he becomes a PMP member. What is important is that he will be next to us. He is too big to join a political party’, Elena Udrea said, according to Mediafax. She added that ‘the experience Traian Basescu gathered at the helm of the state should be used by the entire political establishment’.