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September 30, 2022

PM Ponta: Oprea thanks the President for advice, but he won’t resign

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday evening said that Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea told President Klaus Iohannis he thanks him for his piece of advice, but he won’t resign from office following the death in a motorcycle accident of a policeman in Oprea’s official motorcade.

“What would you think of me calling Mr Dan Mihalache tomorrow and I advising him to resign? (…) Mr Mihalache would probably tell me what Mr Oprea told Mr Iohannis: “Thank you for the advice, but I won’t resign!” (…) I believe Mr Iohannis wants to take advantage of any tragedy, even of the death of a young man in order to set in his own government,” Ponta told Romania TV private television broadcaster.

President Iohannis calls vice PM Oprea to resign over policeman’s death

President Klaus Iohannis revealed on Monday that he called Vice Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea to resign following the death of a policeman in his motorcade last Tuesday.

“Given the fact that the public opinion is seriously concerned about the last week’s events – the accident that occurred, and the unfortunate death of a policeman in the line of duty, I have intervened yesterday [Sunday] and subsequently I have invited vice premier Oprea to a discussion today, because I wanted to get additional details and explanations. We had this discussion this evening. I have advised Mr. vice PM Oprea to resign,” the President said in a press conference at the Cotroceni Palace.

The president stated that he advised the vice premier and minister of interior Oprea to resign due to the poor management of the crisis.

“Such a crisis triggers a lot of emotion and the public opinion has the right to information, has the right to public statements from those involved, from the leaders of those involved. In my opinion, overall the communication regarding this accident was catastrophic. This is the political side and I advised Mr. Oprea on the political side. I did not mention the criminal side, which will be clarified by the prosecutors. (…) It is strictly a matter of public policy; it is much more than a communication problem,” the head of state told journalists, adding he did not give Oprea a deadline.

“I know the aspects related by Mr. Oprea himself, but the remaining circumstances shouldn’t be uncovered by the secret services, but by the prosecutors. As far as I know there is an ongoing investigation and I am waiting for the results,” Iohannis added.

The head of state said he did not ask for information on the frequency with which Gabriel Oprea made use of motorcades.

“What Mr. Oprea will do is to decide and will probably also make a public announcement on this topic,” Iohannis added.

“SPP protection for former, current dignitaries, party leaders included, good idea”

President Klaus Iohannis believes that the protection of the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) for current and former dignitaries, parliamentary party leaders, included, is a good idea.

“The CSAT [Supreme Council for National Defence] has issued a positive opinion on this project. The arguments can be requested of the initiators, but it seemed a good idea,” Iohannis said on Monday, asked about a government emergency ordinance on this topic, showing that the SPP is the initiator of the bill.

The SPP will be able to provide protection, with the approval of the CSAT, including in the case of some dignitaries and former dignitaries, as well as of parliamentary party leaders, at their request, according to an emergency ordinance on the amendment of some bills approved by the Government on October 14.

Over 200 protest at Victoria Square against Deputy PM Gabriel Oprea

More than 200 people on Monday convened in the Victoria Square in Bucharest, the location of the Government House, to protest against Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea.

The protesters asked Oprea to resign following an accident in which a police officer from his official motorcade was killed last week.

The Gendarmerie reports that the protest started at 18:00hrs and ended at 20:00hrs without incidents.

Monday was the second day of protests after on Sunday nearly 1,000 people took to the streets to ask for Oprea’s resignation.

The Bucharest Police last Thursday said the officer who died on October 20 in a motorcycle accident was part of an official motorcade accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, who is also the Interior Minister.

They announced that the officer who died on Tuesday in a motorcycle accident was part of an official motorcade accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea. Officer Bogdan Cosmin Gigina was conducting his official duties as a highway police officer as part of a mobile and fixed traffic guidance team in Bucharest City ensuring safe traffic for the official motorcade and other people in the traffic.

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