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May 6, 2021

Sending back laws for review, the President’s weapon

In seven months, since he started his term in Cotroceni, President Klaus Iohannis sent back to the Parliament for review over ten laws. His latest time of doing so was this Friday, when he refused to promulgate the Tax Code. It was not the first time that the President’s refusal to instantly pass the laws received from the Parliament caused tensions between the palaces.

President Klaus Iohannis latest refusal to promulgate a law angered Social Democrats. The Prime Minister responded by promising that he would certainly apply the VAT cut from 24 per cent to 19 per cent, with or without the Tax Code being promulgated. He would issue an emergency ordinance or he would assume responsibility, Victor Ponta declared. It is not the first conflict between palaces. It has happened before, in the case of the Forestry Code, sent back to the Parliament in March. The Prime Minister suggested at that time that the President was defending the interests of an Austrian company.

“He sent the law back to the Parliament based on certain information he had received from a few benevolent Liberals you see fighting heavily for the interests of Schweighofer”, Victor Ponta declared.

The law granting special pensions to Parliament members was another reason for Klaus Iohannis to send back to the Parliament a law that was already voted. The draft law stipulated a monthly pension for the activity of MP. Thus, besides pensions, former officials were to receive sums from monthly RON 1,500 up to over RON 4,600, depending on the number of terms.

The Head of the State had warned Senators and Deputies before their ballot, and so did he in the case of changes in the Criminal Code, a draft law still discussed by the Legal Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.

“I cannot accept that members of the Parliament would change these laws in their own interest. If such laws reach the stage of promulgation, they will not be promulgated”, Klaus Iohannis had declared last months.

Among the laws sent back for review by Klaus Iohannis, there is the law on financing parties and electoral campaigns, the law for confering the title of “Hero of the Romanian Nation” to Avram Iancu and the law on hunting.

The President has the constitutional right to send back for review, to the Parliament, one time, a law he disagrees with. Deputies and Senators can overrule the request for review or can postpone discussions.

In the case of the Tax Code, the members of the Parliament do not seem challenged by the pressure of time.

“At the end of August, in that week, we will make an extraordinary session and we will send back the President the new Tax Code”, Florin Iordache, Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies declared.

The regulations of the Parliament stipulate that a request for review must be discussed and voted in no more than 30 days. Despite of this rule, the drawers of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate hide over 20 laws sent back to the Parliament by the Head of the State. The oldest request for review was made in 2006 and is signed by ex-President Traian Basescu, Digi24 announced.


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