*PNL, ALDE and Coalition for Family sign protocols on constitutional amendment referendum
Political parties are not losing any opportunity to win votes from all over the place, speculating any topic of interest or sensitive topic, for instance the one concerning the definition of “family.”
The National Liberal Party’s Political Bureau adopted on Monday a protocol with the Coalition for Family, committing the party to support the holding of a referendum on amending the Constitution so that it defines the family. Gheorghe Falca, the Liberals’ campaign chief, pointed out he supports this initiative because it was signed by 3 million Romanians and PNL has calculated a timetable that shows the referendum can take place next April. In his turn too, PSD President Liviu Dragnea had recently stated that the referendum should be organised next spring.
Asked why he supports amending the Constitution only to include in it a stipulation already present in law, Falca repeatedly invoked the fact that this is an initiative signed by 3 million Romanians and referred to “hearts and minds.” “Today, the National Liberal Party’s Political Bureau has decided to support the referendum for the Family. We have adopted by a landslide the ratification of the protocol signed by PNL and the Coalition for Family!” PNL MP Daniel Gheorghe announced on Facebook.
“We agreed for the next Parliament. The procedure that currently exists in Parliament must continue. We also calculated when the referendum can take place. There is an estimation for April. The new Government can earmark funds,” Gheorghe Falca stated at the end of the PNL meeting.
According to Falca, PNL supports the holding of a referendum “because it was the request of three million Romanians.” “This does not mean that we, the National Liberal Party, are not protecting all that the individuality of the other citizens means,” the Arad Mayor added.
At the same time, according to Gheorghe Falca, PNL supports regulating the civil partnership between same-sex couples too. A law in this sense would be adopted by the future Parliament, against the backdrop in which an identical proposal was rejected by Parliament this autumn.
Alina Gorghiu agrees with PSD on amending the Constitution: A legitimate initiative. A possible referendum in spring
The President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Alina Gorghiu, stated on Friday that the initiative to amend the Constitution in order to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman is a legitimate one, and it can be subject to a national referendum in spring – a moment also indicated by the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea.
“On Monday, we’ll also discuss about the bill that is in Parliament at this moment, because any bill drafted at the peoples’ initiative and managing to gather more than 3 million signatures is a legitimate one and has to follow the parliamentary circuit. It’s in the Senate at this moment, blocked in the plenum because of the lack of quorum, since the parliamentary session is quite stopped at the Senate, but I think that this initiative can be subject of a national referendum in spring,” stated Alina Gorghiu, asked about PNL’s position related to the initiative to amend the Constitution.
She also stated that there are several views on this subject inside PNL, “which is a normal thing in a Liberal party and in a party which doesn’t feign democracy”, adding that the subject is going to be discussed on Monday in BPN.
“My positon is (…) that PNL supports the traditional family. Family and measures stimulating natality, the demography, are a key point in the government platform, but we obviously believe at the same extent in forms of legal protection for minorities, as the Constitution provides”, Gorghiu reiterated.
Dragnea supports holding referendum on amending the Constitution in April-May, 2017
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday that he supports the holding of the referendum on amending the Constitution in this respect in April-May, 2017.
Social peace can never be the result of a referendum-type voting, stated President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday evening, referring to the Coalition for Family’s initiative to amend the Constitution, adding that “to be tolerant doesn’t mean to be dumb”.
“I believe that it’s very, very important to be careful with these initiatives. Of course, anything can be subject to a voting, we can go and stamp and get a result, but we can never get social peace by voting. Social peace can be obtained only by compromise, which has to be done between politicians, between politicians and society, between society and Church, between various social groups. Social peace can never be the result of a referendum-type voting, but it can only be the result of the mature approaches of all the important actors in society. Any attempt to push the balance to one side or another causes only a lot of losers. Usually, everybody stands to lose if social peace breaks in the country, there is no winner, there are only losers, that’s why I said that it’s very important for us to be tolerant”, Iohannis explained.
The bills come in the circumstances in which the people’s initiative to amend the Constitution received an approval report from the Senate’s Judiciary Commission.
According to Art.151 of the Constitution, the review bill or proposal must be adopted by the Lower Chamber and the Senate with a majority of at least two thirds of the number of members of each one of the Chambers. If an agreement isn’t reached through the mediation process, the Lower Chamber and the Senate, in a joint meeting, will decide with the vote of at least three quarters of the number of lawmakers. The review becomes final after its approval by referendum, held within 30 days since the date when the review bill or proposal was adopted.
Nicusor Dan on amending the Constitution: It’s a debate which society must have, since an important number of people have already ruled
The leader of the Save Romania Party (USR) also agrees that a debate inside the society is needed on this issue. “It’s a debate which society has to have, since an important number of people have already ruled, but this debate must not interfere in any way with the debate on the parliamentary elections of this moment. And if we’re talking about amending the Constitution, there are some very important issues, related also to Parliament’s image: eliminating immunities, all so abused in the last year, except the immunity for political statements; the possibility or the regulation of the multiannual budget, and it was one of the important subjects at the debate with Mr. Ciolos; how can there be predictability for large infrastructure projects if not by drafting multiannual budgets that you will consider. So, there are some issues on which, I hope, having another Parliament, we will have a consensus”, stated Nicusor Dan on Friday, in an interview for News.ro.
Asked how urgent the Constitution must be amended in what concerns redefining the family, Nicusor Dan stated: “There are more urgent things. I believe that rendering predictable and eliminating waste from all that Romanian public tenders mean is more urgent than these matters, but I believe a new Parliament, which this time will not be pressed by elections in the next three years, can also think about more difficult issues, which have to meet two thirds of Parliament and to be adopted by a referendum, like the ones I’ve listed”.
ALDE and Coalition for Family sign protocol to organize the revision referendum of Constitution
Co-Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and the Coalition for Family, represented by President of the Initiative Committee Mihai Gheorghiu have signed, on Monday a protocol regarding the organization of a national referendum for the revision of the Romania’s Constitution, related to redefining the notion of family.
“This demarche comes following an unprecedented initiative of the civil society, signed by over 3 million citizens, who have the right to vote, which are requesting the replacement in the article 48 of the Romania Constitution, of the term “spouses” with the words “man” and “woman”, so that the paragraph 1 of the article 48 will have in the future, the following formulation: “The family is founded on the free consented marriage between a man and a woman, on their equality and on the right, and duty to ensure the growth, the education and the schooling of children,” a press release of the ALDE reveals.
According to the quoted source, by signing this protocol, the ALDE will endorse the adoption of the revision law, but as well as the law regarding the organization and unfolding of the revision referendum, so that popular election could take place in April 2017.