Victor Ponta met on Sunday the leaders of the ruling coalition parties, who assured him of their continued support, the Premier deciding not to resign. The Premier admitted that this is a difficult moment for him both personally and politically, but that he does not consider himself a victim.
Victor Ponta emphasized that he does not plan to fight against the judiciary but he considers himself innocent and will attack in court the ordinance through which the prosecutors have included him as a suspect in Dan Sova’s case.
“It is a difficult moment for me both personally and from a political point of view, however I have overcome many moments of this type and I will overcome this one too because I have a duty, a responsibility following the 2012 elections. I am Prime Minister, political leader and member of the ruling coalition and I have the obligation of offering an explanation to the citizens of this country, to ruling coalition parties, to the MPs that backed me and in front of whom I will show up next week, to the 5.3 million Romanians that voted for me last year but also to the more than 6 million Romanians that voted for Iohannis or to the 7 million Romanians that voted for change in 2012,” Victor Ponta stated on Sunday after meeting the leaders of ruling coalition parties.
“I will challenge the ordinance issued by the prosecutor handling the case”
“I will show up before prosecutors, judges whenever they summon me, I will present all data and I am convinced the truth will be established. From a procedural point of view I will attack the ordinance that the prosecutor handling the case issued on Thursday, at the hierarchically-superior prosecutor and then in court because I haven’t had the opportunity to be heard by anyone so far. I don’t consider myself a victim. Mariana Rarinca is a victim, many people the press does not talk about [are victims], people we don’t know, who suffered and suffer without committing any criminal acts. I am not a victim, I am a politician, a fighter and I believe I have the duty to fight for what I believe is fair and right and I will do it until the end,” Victor Ponta emphasized.
The Premier believes that his arraignment for alleged corruption acts committed in 2007-2008 “is directly connected with the recent events, with the emotion recently generated in the public opinion by the Rarinca case, by Tuesday’s vote in the Sova case.”
“I don’t think justice means reacting to political events, it means establishing the truth and, if need be, holding someone accountable. Otherwise an act of justice on the part of a prosecutor that reacts to a political act is categorically completely undemocratic. I am not a victim nor do I want to be one, I want to prove my innocence and I want to lend a hand to improving a system that should no longer commit abuses and register slip-ups,” Ponta added.
“The goal of my arraignment is the changing of the government”
Victor Ponta also presented some documents with which he wants to prove his innocence and underscored that the goal of the accusations brought against him is the changing of the government and of the current parliamentary majority. “Governments are changed in Parliament. Any other method means a coup d’état,” the Premier pointed out.
The Premier showed that the actions concerned took place 7-8 years ago and had already been verified following accusations launched in 2009 by Monica Macovei, while the DNA case dates back to 2012. “I was investigated by Sorin Blejnar’s ANAF, by ANI and by the Prosecutor’s Office and all accusations have proved to be groundless so far,” Victor Ponta added.
“Justice does not mean revenge for political decisions”
“I said it and I believe that a minister or premier about whom there are solid clues that point to the fact that he is using his office in order to break the criminal law and against whom a criminal probe starts cannot remain in office! But what I presented to you clearly shows that the accusations are obviously speculative and not solid. They only prove that we reached the point in which all citizens can be suspected without at least being queried about it beforehand! The moment in which the fact that we are not yet investigated means our turn on the list has not come up yet! I have the conviction that Thursday’s ordinance is only a reaction of revenge against me for Tuesday’s vote in the Senate – but Justice does not mean revenge for political decisions!” Ponta added.
“We find ourselves in an extremely serious moment for our society. There are opinion makers and politicians that effectively want to eliminate Parliament from among state powers, and now the Government too. Local authorities have already been massacred and terrorized. I believe Romania needs independent and efficient prosecutors, just like it needs vigilant intelligence officers – but none of them can replace the Parliament, the Government and local representatives because that would be a dictatorship.”
“Changing the government through a prosecutor’s decision is an extremely serious precedent, I cannot be a party to this”
“I talked with President Iohannis, presenting him the information I have about the system he inherited and that he has to improve during his tenure. I hope he does!
I respect the political opinions concerning my resignation, but let’s not be hypocrites. Iohannis ran for office while arraigned at the High Court, Basescu dodged his criminal cases for ten years by virtue of the office held and he loves the judiciary only when it does not investigate Elena Udrea. Now he organizes protests with PMP, but these are the same people who were saying that the DNA and SRI commit abuses in the Udrea case! About PNL, even I am embarrassed to talk about it, with a Predoiu investigated in the Bute Boxing Gala and the issue not yet settled, with Atanasiu who signed the contracts with Sova at Turceni and Rovinari and with Gorghiu at Electrica.
A resignation would be the simplest thing for me and my family, but changing the government through a prosecutor’s decision is an extremely serious precedent and I cannot be a party to this!
Precisely a resignation would be a political crisis without any national plan to ensure our stability – it means that fundamental projects such as the Fiscal Code, the salary law, the European funds and the Transport Master Plan, the agreement with the IMF and EC or the election laws will be postponed indefinitely since there is no other functional majority.
I will go before Parliament during the no-confidence vote. If it goes through it’s clear I will resign and we have to have snap elections. If not, I will finalize these projects and I will then discuss the next steps with ruling coalition colleagues, with the country’s president and with the current opposition,” said Ponta.