Corruption and the political class are among the issues raised by the University protesters, according to a survey done by the Sociology Department of the National School for Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA).
The survey included a total of 300 interviews with approximately 10% of the protesters in the University Square on the night of 6 November. The question asked was ‘Which are the main issues/demands you have?’ There were several options of answers, but only the ones presented can be quantified: corruption (19%), the political class (10%), the change of the system (4%), 300 MPs (3%), dissolution of Parliament (2%), parliamentary immunity (2%) and 3% did not know what to answer/refused to answer.
Asked if they could name a person they would like to become prime-minister, 68% said they could not, 31% said they could and 1% did not answer. Out of the 31% who said they could, 14% named Moise Guran, 11% Mugur Isarescu, 10% Monica Macovei, 9% Dacian Ciolos, 5% a technocrat, 3% Victor Ponta, 3% Traian Basescu, 3% Catalin Predoiu and 42% – someone else.
Another question asked during the survey interview was: ‘What is the most important quality you want future politicians to have?’ The answers were: correctness (15%), integrity (10%), honesty (8%), sincerity (4%), something else (52%), did not know/did not answer (3%).
Civil society demanding integrity, competence of new Gov’t and President’s team
The new Premier should meet certain integrity and competence criteria that should also apply to the Presidential Administration team, reads an open letter addressed on Monday to President Klaus Iohannis, which is signed by 36 organisations including the Advocacy Academy, ActiveWatch, Expert Forum and Freedom House.
In the opinion of the signatories, the future candidate for PM and the members of the Cabinet are required to have never been involved in crime or corruption scandals, to never have been sentenced or indicted for such deeds; to never have been involved in obtaining undue benefits or in conflict of interests; to have stayed clear of political migration/party switching, and never have run counter in any other way to public morale while exercising public offices; to not have promoted values, positions or projects that run counter to the rule of law; to never have been in the leading structures of the Romanian Communist Party, not to have been informants or members of the defunct political police “Securitate”, nor of the current intelligence services; to not have promoted discriminating rhetoric.
The members of the future government should also impose respect by their professional authority, prove being well acquainted with a particular professional sector; have the capacity to articulate a vision by analyzing and synthesizing information collected by the staff under their coordination; have the capacity to coordinate teams and decision-making processes, but also efficiently communicate and negotiate inside the team and with the public.
The signatories of the letter have similar requests as regards the Presidential Administration team, so that by December 31 the full staff assisting the President should meet the same criteria.
The authors of the document consider that the way the President’s public consultation with the citizens and the civil society was prepared is lacking, despite the presumably good intentions, and “instead of enhancing the public’s trust in the institutions of the state and the organizations of civil society has caused even more confusion, suspicion and division” amid the civil society.
“We expect those responsible for this situation to assume responsibility,” state the signatories of the open letter.
They also want the President to initiate an as broad as possible process of consultation with the citizens and NGOs, including by using participative instruments that have also worked in other democratic states, and by capitalizing on initiatives already built in the virtual space of the ongoing protest.
“We expect the President, in his capacity as mediator among the state powers and between the state and the society, to elicit a political commitment for all these to be capitalised on through a process that involves the main institutions of the state (Parliament, government) from where such legislative and institutional changes arise that answer the issues red-flagged by the citizens,” reads the letter.
It is also underscored that the NGOs don’t have a vocation of popular representation, and just gather people around ideas, principles or rights. The letter asks that political decision makers no longer ignore the concrete reform proposals raised by civil society organizations, because “the NGOs’ confidence in most political institutions has drained out or is close to running out.”
The organizations that sign the open letter are as follows: the Advocacy Academy, ActiveWatch, the “Together” Community Development Agency, the ACCEPT Association, the National Association of Counseling Offices for Citizens (ANBCC), the Association for Community Liaison (ARC), the “Pro Democratia” Association (APD), the Romanian Association for Culture, Education and Normalcy (ARCEN), Nature Tour Association, the Center for Assistance to NGOs, the Resource Center for Public Participation (CeRe), the Partnership for Equality Center (CPE), the Independent Journalism Center (CJI), the Center for Not-for-Profit Law, the Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE), Civitas ’99, the CARITAS Romania Confederation, Expert Forum, the Dizabnet Federation – Network of Disability Services Organizations, the Federation of Social Service NGOs (FONSS), the VOLUM Federation, Freedom House, the “Alaturi de Voi” [Together with You] Foundation, the Bucharest Community Foundation, the “Estuar” Foundation, the Foundation Partnership for Community Action and Transformation (PACT), the Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC), Funky Citizens, the “Plenum” Participatory Democracy Group, Initiative Romania, the Institute for Public Policy (IPP), the Spiritual Militia, Romani Criss – Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies, Save the Childre Romania, the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) and TERRA Millennium 3.