Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu has offered on Saturday a tough reply to the acid criticisms brought to Senators after their negative vote given on the prosecutors’ request in Vosganian case. According to Tariceanu, if the Senate would be guided in this case after President Iohannis’s statements, then the desired change suggested by the head of state “seemed really rather a continuation of the policy initiated by former President meaning that state institutions, including Parliament, must comply with the directions proposed by Cotroceni “.
Tariceanu said in a release that after the vote given by the senators on Varujan Vosganian case, the partnership recently proposed by President Klaus Iohannis to the Parliament ‘has turned into blunt criticism of the opinion expressed by a majority of the senators’.
Tariceanu thus answered the criticism leveled by the Romanian head of state and General Prosecutor Tiberiu Nitu regarding the negative vote given by the Senate on the prosecutors’ request to strip senator Vosganian of immunity and thus allow his prosecution in a case involving natural gas company Romgaz.
Such criticism, the Senate head stressed, ‘questions the Senate’s capability of passing judgement on an extremely serious matter’.
He underscored that as recently as on Monday, Feb. 9, President Iohannis said in an address to a joint session of the legislature that he ‘wishes a powerful Parliament’ and that ‘the president’s partnership with the Parliament answers the need to restore the confidence in this fundamental institution of the democracy’.
‘After the Senate’s vote, the partnership proposed by the president to restore the confidence has turned into blunt criticism of the opinion expressed by a majority of the senators. /…/ While I share the president’s opinion regarding the need of a change demanded by the voters on the occasion of the presidential elections, it is absolutely necessary to define the benchmarks of such a change, before we set off to change things,’ he said.
Tariceanu added, ‘If we were to judge by what the president said on Monday, but mostly after the president’s open criticism of the vote in the Senate, then the change seems rather a continuation of the politics initiated by the former president, according to which the state institutions, Parliament included, must follow the directions proposed by Cotroceni ‘.
‘In reality, the case assembled by the General Prosecutor’s Office, for which the Senate’s vote was sought does not refer the alleged corruption deeds of a senator, but it raises the issue of a political decision of an acting minister that resulted in a Government Resolution. That is why I can say that a vote in favour of the General Prosecutor’s request, as the president also wanted, would have set a precedent that any decision of the executive (therefore potentially of the president too) and of any public authority could have been censured by the prosecutors in the future’, Tariceanu explained.
The Senate speaker argues such a precedent could become dangerous, ‘because it would have opened the way to turning Romania into a republic of the prosecutors’.
He cites General Prosecutor Nitu as saying after the vote that ‘This attitude of the Romanian Senate of not answering, for the second time, to a request of stripping the same senator of immunity may be also interpreted as a sign of the Parliament’s lack of confidence in the judicial power, a thing that cannot be tolerated in a rule of law state, in a European Union country’.
Such remarks, Tariceanu underscored, ‘seriously hit the principle of the separation of the state powers and amount to an intolerable attack on the Senate’.