Acting national chairman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea on Tuesday said he respects the stance of the President on the Constitution, but added that he sticks to his own statement that the Constitution should be amended to allow for the elections to be held in one and the same year.
“I have learned about the President’s position, which I respect, but I will continue to stick to my opinion with some mentions. (…) I am sticking to the idea I put forth for a debate (…). Let someone, anyone, prove that a five-year period with no elections, no electioneering, no major political tensions when we can build locally and regionally, come up with a well-structured development plan for Romania that can be pursued is better than a fragmented political state,” Dragnea said at the PSD headquarters.
He added that the time for the revision of the Constitution is not as important as accepting the idea of amending it in principle is.
“I do not give up on this idea. Whether it is done tomorrow, whether the Constitution is amended next year or in 2017 may be important, but not the most important. In my opinion the important thing is for this principle to be accepted,” said Dragnea.
On Monday, Dragnea said that in order for all the election in Romania to be held in one and the same year the Constitution has to be amended, adding that on this matter he is waiting for an answer from the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and President Klaus Iohannis.
PSD national leader wants to merge elections; five-year terms for Mayors and MPs
The interim president of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, has declared on Sunday for Antena 3 that he intended to propose a new draft law stipulating the merging of elections and five-year terms for all elected, stating that, otherwise, Romania cannot have long-term projects; Dragnea also expressed his hope for support from Klaus Iohannis.
“We are in a situation of having elections every two years. Perhaps, finally, we will all awaken, the political class, perhaps the President agrees as well and perhaps if we manage to change the Constitution, we could set all elections once in five years”, Dragnea said, mentioning that this would mean extending MPs’ and local officials’ terms to five years, so that they would occur simultaneously to presidential elections.
Asked whether PSD would submit a draft law in this direction, Dragnea declared: “obviously”. “I usually do not talk in vain”, the PSD leader added.
“What can we do in a serious and long-term manner when you have elections every two years”, Liviu Dragnea explained for Antena 3.
The revision of the Constitution was one of the priorities announced at the beginning of the present term, yet the draft law was abandoned once USL split and lost the two-third majority that would have made it possible to adopt the draft law that must, anyhow, be approved by a national referendum.
Article 63 of the Fundamental Law stipulates that the Senate and Chamber of Deputies are elected for a four-year term that extends rightfully in a situation of conscription, war, assault of emergency until the respective situation ceases.
Discussions about the merging of elections have been held throughout the time, yet, in 2012, PSD supported the idea of reducing the presidential term from five to four years, so that Presidential elections would match those of the Parliament.
The two ballots shifted after the five-year presidential term was introduced, at the revision of 2003.
Iohannis: Debate on Constitution, with great pleasure after 2016
In his turn, President Iohannis said Monday that a discussion of the Constitution is inopportune right now, adding that the debate should be held after the election year 2016.
“The debate on the Constitution, with great pleasure after 2016,” Iohannis told a news conference on Monday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.