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January 26, 2022
POLITICS

Gabriel Oprea threatens to leave Gov’t if PSD stealthily modifies Penal Code

Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, President of the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR), has announced that he will leave the government if coalition partners PSD go forward with the changes to the Penal Code.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s statements come against the backdrop in which the Lower Chamber has to vote on Tuesday on no less than 22 changes brought to the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code.

Asked in a talk-show on ProTV whether he would have resigned had he faced the charges that prosecutors have levied against Premier Victor Ponta, including the charge that concerns the office of Prime Minister, Oprea answered: “First of all, I want to tell you that in general I don’t discuss judicial issues. I, Gabriel Oprea, member of the government but also president of UNPR, militate for the strengthening of the judiciary, and you can verify this. We have two pillars, the national interest and the Romanian state. And we do indeed militate for strengthening the Romanian state. I told this to Victor Ponta too, I told it to our coalition colleagues. The moment we notice that there is work done on the new Penal Code for example – some want to modify it stealthily – or an attack on the Romanian state is sought, they’ve lost us as partners. I believe you should ask Mr. Victor Ponta whether he will resign or not. I believe he was asked and he said he won’t resign.”

President Klaus Iohannis too has already criticized harshly the changes that PSD wants to bring to the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code. The Head of State labeled the changes as null and void, stating he disagrees with them.

MPs have prepared a new offensive on the Penal Code: dozens of proposed changes to the new penal laws are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Eliminating the handcuffing of politicians accused of corruption and changing the way in which preventive arrest can be ordered are among the changes proposed by MPs.

PSD Senator Serban Nicolae claims that only those accused of violent crimes should wear handcuffs. The same MP also wants the persons that leak information from criminal cases to be sentenced up to 3 years in jail.

Both draft proposals were tacitly adopted by the Senate and the Lower Chamber will have the final say. The Senate also agreed that the preventive arrest decision should be based on “thorough clues” not on reasonable suspicions as the current law stipulates.

 

“If I were Ponta, I would resign”

 

Gabriel Oprea, who is also the godfather of Victor Ponta’s son, made a series of revelations about the PSD President. Oprea stated that he raised Ponta and admitted that the Premier has a big problem.

“I have many things to reproach Victor Ponta with. I raised him. I advised him on many occasions. He now has a problem that he has to solve. It’s a big problem. Every time he will be summoned at the Prosecutor’s Office he will go. With all his sins, Victor Ponta has a good government,” Gabriel Oprea said on ProTV.

“If I were him I would resign. It’s Victor Ponta’s decision. A person is guilty or innocent based on the judges’ decision. It’s not easy at all for Romania’s image either for the Premier to be investigated. He’s a good Premier, but he could also be better,” Oprea added.

 

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