Victor Ponta stated on Friday for L’Express, several hours before the no-confidence motion was rejected, that he is disappointed with the fact that President Klaus Iohannis sided with PNL and that the opposition uses prosecutors for political purposes. The Premier also stated he will immediately resign if he is convicted. L’Express’s Charles Haquet writes that Premier Ponta showed up at the meeting tense and pale.
“Targeted by the all-mighty DNA, Ponta, who leads a left-wing coalition, is accused of conflict of interest: in the past he allegedly received money from a lawyer, Dan Sova, whom he then appointed minister in his government. But Victor Ponta will not explain this issue in court: Parliament, in which he holds a comfortable majority, opposed the lifting of his parliamentary immunity that the DNA had requested. Irresponsible, the Head of State, the recently elected Klaus Iohannis, immediately said. The apex of this political crisis: a no-confidence motion tabled by the Opposition,” the French publication wrote.
In the interview, Ponta stated that he is innocent and he will present prosecutors the documents that prove it. Asked why he did not allow his immunity lifted if he is innocent, Ponta replied dryly: “Only Parliament is empowered by the Constitution to initiate a procedure against the Prime Minister or a member of Government. Parliament refused to do so.”
Asked about the members of the Ponta I-IV government that have legal problems, the Premier emphasized that no member of his cabinet was accused of corruption for an action taken during his term in office.
In what concerns President Klaus Iohannis, the Premier stated that he “was disappointed.”
“In the last six months he (Iohannis – editor’s note) played the role of an arbiter that the country needs. But in recent days he only rooted for one side, that of his party. I believe he felt great pressures from his entourage. I also noticed that I was summoned at the DNA precisely when the Opposition asked for a no-confidence vote in Parliament. Nobody believes in coincidences,” Ponta said.
At the end of the interview, the Premier pointed out in what conditions he will resign: “If judges say I am guilty, I will step down that very day. Prosecutors can charge me but justice is served by judges. For the time being I haven’t been before a judge.”