The Europe Day reception organised at the Presidential Palace featured some notable absences among politicians. The Presidency did not invite the politicians who have legal problems. The list includes ex-Premier Victor Ponta and PSD President Liviu Dragnea.
This is the first time when state officials and MPs are not invited to attend the Europe Day reception organised at the Presidential Palace. In the midst of the elections campaign, President Klaus Iohannis wanted to give a signal and refused to invite certain officials.
The list of persons not invited includes dozens of lawmakers, Victor Ponta and Liviu Dragnea among them. The reason is that they are probed, arraigned or received suspended sentences in criminal cases.
The way the guests were selected is open to interpretations, since some exceptions were made. Ex-President Traian Basescu was on the guests’ lists despite the fact that a criminal case has been opened on his name.
Dragnea: I did not receive an invitation to Cotroceni. I’m very sad
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that he did not receive an invitation to attend the Europe Day reception at the Cotroceni Palace and sarcastically stated that he is very sad because of that.
Liviu Dragnea was convicted to two years in jail, suspended and final sentence, for committing fraud during the impeachment referendum in 2012.
“I did not receive an invitation. I am very sad because of this. (…) This is the way the President sees fit to manage his office. It’s his and the presidency’s problem, I am really very little interested in this,” Dragnea stated.
In fact, the Head of State recommended Dragnea to step down from all offices held as a result of his conviction.
“Liviu Dragnea should step down. For the health of the Romanian political system, it’s not all right for a large political party to be led by a leader convicted through a final sentence in a criminal case. I’ve relayed this opinion to him,” President Klaus Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page at the time.
PRU President and Lower Chamber MP Bogdan Diaconu, the party’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, was also eliminated from the guests’ list, being known for promoting a nationalist, xenophobic discourse.
Diaconu: Iohannis thinks at Cotroceni he is on his German baron’s estate
“In light of his latest statements and actions, the Presidency has decided to rescind his invitation,” Presidency sources pointed out.
In reply, the lawmaker wrote on his Facebook page a message in which he criticises the Presidency’s decision.
“Iohannis thinks that at Cotroceni he is on his German baron’s estate and he rescinded my invitation on Europe’s Day! For me, Europe’s Day is a day of mourning, I only celebrate Romania’s Independence Day, the independence won with sacrifices 139 years ago but lost because of vassals like Iohannis! Let’s win back our independence,” Bogdan Diaconu wrote.
Ponta: I’m heartbroken
Ex-Premier Victor Ponta stated on Monday that he “badly” wanted to see President Klaus Iohannis and the fact that he was not invited at the reception organised on Europe’s Day “broke his heart.”
The PSD Lower Chamber MP was asked for his comment on the fact that he was not invited to attend President Klaus Iohannis’s reception at the Presidential Palace. His answer was: “Mr. Iohannis broke my heart, that’s how badly I wanted to see him.”