The Government decided by emergency ordinance to overtake control on Mayoralties where partial elections were required. Practically, the Prefect, who was reporting to the Government, would assume the attributions of the Mayor or of the Local Council.
The endless series of arrests mady by National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors have created this situation of several local administrations with empty Mayor’s seats after the respective officials were accused of committing corruption-related offences and were dismissed from their position, the case of the Bucharest Mayoralty as well.
By the newly issued ordinance, the Government is trying so solve this situation so that the activity of Mayoralties would not be blocked.
“We are talking about localities where either the Local Councils were dissolved, either the Mayor cannot exercise his / her attributions any longer (due to ceasing of term, suspension of term or preventive measures), or both situations simultaneously. In these localities, it is no longer possible, according to applicable laws, to adopt decisions at the level of local public authority (Local Council decisions, Mayor’s decrees) or to complete certain public services, which negatively affects the administration level of the respective locality”, a press release issued by the Government points out.
Through the same Emergency Ordinance, the Government also decided that the responsibility to represent Romania in front of the International Arbitration Court would be held by the Ministry of Public Finances.
Liviu Dragnea blames the “Radauti issue”
Interim PSD leader Liviu Dragnea declared that this ordinance was destined to solve the “Radauti issue”. He also added that he had not supported this initiative, but there was no other option.
He gave no answer to why partial elections were not held under the circumstances that it was still possible to do so, and declared that it is less than a year until local elections.
“The issue is called Radauti. It is a blocked city. We are in a situation that the Government had to issue an ordinance to unblock this community. There are blocked projects, wasted money, unpaid salaries”, Dragnea declared.
As for the criticism brought to this emergency ordinance, that the respective act was unconstitutional, the interim President of PSD declared that the future would reveal whether it was unconstitutional or not and declared that PSD would not demand the People’s Attorney to notify the Constitutional Court on this topic.
“I understood that PSD have opposed this project. Let them bring a solution now. I did not support this version either, but it seems to be the only functional version. We may argue on TV, but Radauti is still blocked. With this ordinance, Radauti will get unblocked”, Liviu Dragnea mentioned.
The Radauti Local Council was dissolved on March 31. The Mayor, Aurel Olarean, has been dismissed since September 2014, as he was placed under preventive arrest and afterwards, sued for corruption-related offences. According to the law, the Government should have organized local elections. The situation is similar in many other countries.
Ombudsman, notified by PNL
PNL announced that they would ask the Ombudsman to attack this ordinance at the Constitutional Court.
“It is the worst solution found by the Ponta Government. A principle of democracy is being violated. The article in the Ordinance is unconstitutional. Many of the projects will not be completed. It all happened because the Ponta Government did not want to organize local elections, as they would have lost many Mayoralties and Local Councils. Victor Ponta has no further connection whatsoever with ruling”, Former Finances Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu, PNL Deputy declared during a phone intervention for Realitatea TV.
According to the Deputy, the ordinance eliminates the institutions that must represent the local community.
“There are also incompatibilities concerning the attributions of certain positions. It is not possible that one person decides and the same person executes”, Ialomitianu pointed out, as quoted by Realitatea.net.
“By this ordinance, prefects are turned into local sheiks. It does not matter what the citizens voted, and it is irrelevant what the Court has decided. In the despair he is experiencing during these last few days, Victor Ponta only reaches decisions that are completely unfavourable to citizens and show full contempt of law and justice”, the regional Vice-President of PNL, Suceava County Deputy Ioan Balan declared.
“I do not understand how one can violate basic principles of democracy such as citizens’ votes and definitive decisions of Courts”, Balan further mentioned.