Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Co-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), is engaged in a harsh conflict with President Klaus Iohannis. Basically, instead of the holders of the top office in the state (the President) and the second-highest office in the state (the Senate Speaker) having a civilised and institutionally normal relationship, as happens in any normal country, for weeks now Romania has witnessed the two politicians trading broadsides and levying severe accusations against one another.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on Wednesday that President Klaus Iohannis’s recent public interventions with the heads of the Public Prosecution Service demonstrate “his blatant and unconstitutional involvement in tainting justice.”
Tariceanu requested the transcripts of the talks the Head of State had with the two high-ranking officials with the Public Prosecution Service.
President Klaus Iohannis reacted on Thursday and sarcastically said he does not believe Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu is really worried about the independence of the judiciary, but is “faking” it instead and is in fact attempting “to evade” justice.
“We are talking about Mr. Tariceanu, the one prosecuted for lying, he is basically sued for perjury. I think he is the same person who years ago was writing ‘Dear Traian’ notes in order for then President Traian Basescu to intervene for one of his [Tariceanu’s] friends… I don’t believe the man is really worried about the independence of the judiciary, I believe he’s faking it and is in fact attempting to evade justice,” said Iohannis when asked about Tariceanu who called on the Head of State to make public the transcripts of his talks with the Prosecutor General and the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate.
Tariceanu answered by issuing a warning, several days ago hinting at the possible impeachment of President Iohannis.
“I didn’t expect his discourse to stoop to the level of Alina Gorghiu or of other small-calibre politicians. He preferred to prevaricate instead of answering my questions. He avoids answering. He is making various hints, but he is very clumsy. I’ll ask him other questions too, he has to answer us, but without this attitude, he is not the teacher to lecture us on political morality and behaviour, he lost a lawsuit because of false documents.” In support of his statement that Iohannis is not in the position to lecture others on morality, Tariceanu reminded the fact that Iohannis ran in the presidential elections in a state of incompatibility and eventually won the lawsuit with the National Integrity Agency (ANI), but only after he won the elections, with the help of Livia Stanciu, former chairwoman of the High Court of Justice (ICCJ), currently Constitutional Court judge.
“He wants to control the judiciary, especially after the latest orders he gave prosecutors. I believe we are in store for a fairly bleak period if he keeps doing so,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Antena 3.
At the same time, the Senate Speaker wrote on Facebook that the issue of respecting the vote that Romanians will cast on December 11 is “fundamental.” The Senate Speaker reiterated the questions he addressed to the Head of State on several occasions, and said he will keep reiterating them until he gets answers.
“Does real democracy still exist in Romania, is there any point in having elections or is everything decided from now on by the occult group led by President Iohannis? That is why I will insist on having a clear answer from the one who leads the “combination” that consists of the Presidency, the DNA and the PNL trailer-party,” Tariceanu wrote on his Facebook page.
He reminded that both on September 23 as well as October 12 he publicly asked the President “to formally commit to respecting the will of the citizens without preconditions and limits and without using state institutions in order to alter the democratic process,” pointing out that each time “Mr. Iohannis used the clumsy tactic of prevarication.”
“To enter your game, I too will ask you the following questions:
When will you pay to the Romanian state the taxes owed for the rent collected by leasing out the real-estate properties you obtained through fraud as proven in court?
How come you asked political opponents to resign every time as soon as the DNA fabricated a case on their name, hence before a court ruling, but you haven’t asked Ms. Kovesi to resign or to be suspended following plagiarism accusations that seem grounded?” Tariceanu wrote on his Facebook page.
At the same time, he reiterated the question about wiretaps: “How monitored are Romanian citizens; more precisely put, how many wiretaps on their phones and other communication systems have been carried out monthly in 2016 and how much do they cost?”