The vote in the Chamber of Deputies Wednesday night on lifting Laszlo Borbely’s parliamentary immunity ahead of his prosecution in a corruption case has caused a wave of reactions both in the country and abroad. After 154 MPs out of the 293 attending the plenary meeting on Wednesday had voted against the request for the approval of the investigation of UDMR MP Laszlo Borbely, the leader of PSD MPs, Marian Neacsu, rejected speculations on a possible secret agreement with UDMR for securing its support for the Cabinet in Parliament.
‘In my opinion, this is a speculation. As it was seen during the vote on the Constitutional Court judge, UDMR didn’t give us much hope or aid. In my view, it has nothing to do with that. At least I know we have made no deal’, said the leader of the PSD political group in the lower chamber.
The leader of the PNL group, Ludovic Orban, in turn said an agreement between the Liberals and UDMR for declining the prosecutors’ request would have been impossible.
‘We have never negotiated such things with our partners and, anyway, no such talks could have been initiated. It didn’t happen’, said Ludovic Orban.
As a matter of fact, PNL said its MPs had voted ‘in open sight’ on the matter of the lifting of the immunity of UDMR MP Laszlo Borbely and accused PSD of ‘trying to revive the super-immunity of MPs through the vote against justice’, according to hotnews.ro.
‘PSD insists to politically and systematically obstruct the action of justice also in the case of Laszlo Borbely, demonstrating that it hasn’t understood anything of the message given by the electorate on the latest election. PSD rests clearly associated with the image of a party of corruption and, on every occasion it gets, confirms that’, states a PNL press release. The Liberals are accusing the Social-Democrats of having hidden the way in which they voted in order to ‘discredit judicial proceedings and prevent the judges from ruling in a corruption case’.
UDMR leader, Kelemen Hunor , in turn, said that he believed in the innocence of every person until proven guilty in Court. ‘Until a final decision is handed down, I have no reasons not believe in his innocence. The benefit of the doubt not the presumption of guilt is the base principle’, Kelemen Hunor said on RFI on Thursday. He added that ‘perhaps those who have studied the case and who had access to the file were not deeply convinced that the denunciation that had appeared on file in addition to the existing material had anything to do with the old case and was also convincing.’
Asked on RFI what would be the consequences of the negative vote, the leader of UDMR said he didn’t believe that there would be any for the moment.
‘Just as two years ago there was a similar vote and nothing spectacular happened, I don’t expect it to happen this time. Of course, political commentators and those who analyse these events in Parliament will say it’s wrong, others will say that the result was foreseen as there were not enough elements, but just a denunciation unconnected with the case. I wouldn’t insist on this vote too much, I have nothing to add’, said the UDMR president.
MEP Cristian Preda: “Vote in Parliament, expression of the battle for Parliamentary majority. A disgrace!”
Independent MEP Cristian Preda claims that MP Laszlo Borbely has escaped criminal prosecution because he is under Premier Victor Ponta and President Klaus Iohannis’s “high-level protection,” pointing out that the latter needs UDMR. “Borbely and Vosganian are under the high-level political protection of the Ponta-Iohannis duo. The President needs UDMR, just as Ponta needs some Liberals. That is how exceptions are born in our Parliament. The votes cast by Parliament in the two cases are the expression of the battle for Parliamentary majority, which is ongoing. A disgrace!” independent MEP Cristian Preda wrote on Facebook.
MP Bogdan Diaconu, president of the United Romanian Party, also complains of a deal. “UDMR MP Laszlo Borbely no longer has to flee to Hungary like Marko Attila because PSD, PNL and UDMR have formed a coalition in a disgraceful arrangement meant to save him from the judiciary. It is an insult to the rule of law and a big blot for Parliament and for Romania’s old parties that prove once again that they cannot abandon the sin of betrayal for the sake of personal interests. I warned the two Romanian parties two weeks ago not to compromise the Romanian Parliament by secretly negotiating the rescue of Laszlo Borbely for the sake of temporary interests. PSD and PNL have irreparably compromised themselves by protecting Laszlo Borbely, thus instituting the principle that Hungarian politicians are above the law. PSD and PNL are living proof that this old political class has to be replaced from the ground up because it represents a cancer for Romanian society. Along with UDMR which considers itself a state within a state and does not recognize the Romanian judiciary, these parties have to disappear from the political stage because otherwise Romania will go from bad to worse,” Diaconu wrote on Facebook.
US Embassy: “One of the basic principles of democracy is that all men are equal before the law”
After the Lower Chamber rejected the request to approve the criminal prosecution against UDMR MP Laszlo Borbely, the US Embassy pointed out, at the request of Mediafax, that one of the basic principles of democracy is that all men are equal before the law. “One of the basic principles of democracy is that all men are equal before the law. Our policy is not to comment on individual cases, but, of course, we will closely monitor the developments,” the US Embassy pointed out.