Paramount for elections to unfold safely, Iohannis tells new Interior Minister

President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday told Dragos Tudorache (photo L), the new Interior Minister, that it is paramount for the parliamentary elections to unfold safely in order to “have the certainty that the outcome is not altered whatsoever.”

The president addressed the new minister at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after the latter was sworn in.

Iohannis assured Tudorache that although “pretty short” his tenure will not be “simple,” since the minister is taking over one of the main portfolios at a difficult stage and yet with very good opportunities to strengthen a ministry that has underwent several changes.

“Although the Interior Ministry is not the one organising them, but the Standing Electoral Authority instead, the ministry has a very important role, that of offering support and ensuring public order and discipline during the electoral process. This should be your utmost preoccupation. It is vital for Romania, for the consolidation of democracy, and extremely important in order to give credibility to the electoral process, for these elections to unfold in perfect order, in a climate of safety, and for us to have the certainty that the result is not altered whatsoever,” Klaus Iohannis stated.

“You are taking over one of the Government’s mainstay portfolios at a stage that is difficult and yet features very good opportunities to consolidate a ministry that has went through a series of challenges; and, apart from the talks at the helm of the ministries, there were stages due to other causes, stages in which the Interior Ministry has proved that it is far stronger and that it can handle complicated challenges in a manner that gladdens us,” Iohannis told the new Interior Minister.

The head of state reminded that the Interior Ministry has had an important part to play in the local elections in June and that it behaved impeccably.

The president concluded that it is vital for Romania that the parliamentary elections due on 11 December should unfold in perfect order, safely, in order to have the certainty that their outcome will not be altered at all.

The Head of State also had a message for Paul Gheorghiu, the new Head of the Premier’s Chancellery, telling him that he will have “a demanding and complicated” job because he will have to make sure the programmes he will coordinate will be correlated between the ministries.


 Dragos Tudorache presents his priorities: Coordinating structure will be created to organise parliamentary elections


Shortly after he was sworn in, Dragos Tudorache announced his priorities as Interior Minister. Organising the parliamentary elections tops the list. And the new minister’s objective is for the institution he leads to remain unbiased.

“I wanted to give a message of continuity. It’s important for there to be predictability, both in this ministry leadership’s command and manner of action. It’s clear that for this government, and for me personally, it is essential to make sure uneventful elections are being prepared in the next three months.”

“As of tomorrow (Thursday – editor’s note) I’ll set up a coordinating structure that will have as main target organising the elections, a command structure that will keep in touch with the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP) and at the same time a structure that will bear a ceaseless, constant dialogue with the political parties which are the main actors in the next three months. My goal in this field is to maintain the total neutrality and fairness of this ministry, of all those who work for this ministry until the elections. It is a clear-cut message I have given to my colleagues with the command structure to pass it on to their subordinates,” Tudorache told a news conference at the relevant ministry.

He added that this message will be passed on to county prefects too in the following days, emphasising that is it paramount that the ministry stays “unbiased, neutral” while the elections are being prepared.

“The second topic is one that has garnered the media’s and public opinion’s attention. The situation at DIPI. I have a very clear mandate from the Premier and President to find the best measures that would render the activity efficient. We are talking about efficiency within and without the ministry, in relation to parliamentary structures. In the following 2-3 weeks I will come up with concrete proposals in order to attain this objective.”

“The third objective is to continue organising the crisis response system. From a normative standpoint, the result is good. We have to make sure this normative framework works in practice too. I want us to organise, as fast as possible, a simulation through which we would test how this normative framework is working,” the new Interior Minister added.

At the same time, Tudorache said that the ministry’s main areas of responsibility also remain a priority: combating crime, migration, public order.

“From the standpoint of the migration phenomenon, groups of migrants have tested our borders in recent weeks. I want us to cooperate with the Serbian side in order to have joint patrols on the southwestern border.”

“I am very interested in combating illegal logging. And I’m announcing zero tolerance if proven that Interior Ministry employees are involved in violations of the Forestry Code. Next week – I’ve already had first contacts in Parliament – I intend to hold talks with the two relevant parliamentary commissions. It’s a relation I intend to foster,” Tudorache concluded.


Dobrovolschi: President to decide on Thursday on former IntMin Toba prosecution


Romanian President Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi said Wednesday that the request for former Interior Minister Petre Toba’s prosecution, submitted to the Presidency by the Prosecutor General on Monday, is under consideration and President Klaus Iohannis is to announce his decision on Thursday.

Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar submitted on September 5 a request from the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) to prosecute Toba for aiding and abetting a perpetrator.

According to DNA, when the anti-corruption prosecutors were investigating a case involving former deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea and others, Toba, as interior minister, refused to allow the start of partial declassification of alleged classified documents.


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