A huge political scandal is foreshadowed before the National Day (which celebrates precisely union and unity, not division), triggered by the fact that President Klaus Iohannis has not invited PSD President Liviu Dragnea, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu and ex-Premier Victor Ponta at the military parade and at the reception organised at the Presidential Palace on December 1st, because of the legal problems of a criminal nature that the three have.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi answered the journalists’ questions regarding the three politicians’ absence from the list of guests.
“I’ve seen there are all kinds of public debates on this topic and I want to say from the get-go that I will not refer to certain persons, I will not name names, because this isn’t about this. It’s about some criteria that laid at the basis of drafting the list of guests, and I cannot hide from you, nor do I want to, that the criteria considered consisted, firstly, of course, of the criterion that the guest should be a state official but, likewise, that the guest should meet some integrity criteria. And here, of course, we are talking about the non-existence of some legal problems of a criminal nature,” Presidential Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi explained on Thursday. “There is this criterion and we are very transparent in revealing it,” Dobrovolshi explained.
She also announced that 500 persons have been invited at the National Day reception. None of the guests will be accompanied.
Dobrovolschi pointed out that the December 1st military parade is organised against the backdrop of the centenary marking Romania’s entry in the First World War, and for this reason the parade will centre on the presentation of military equipment essential for the national defence system.
“The parade will start at 11 a.m., at the Arch of Triumph. Soldiers from the Ministry of Defence, Interior Ministry, Romanian Intelligence Service as well as partner nations will take part in it,” the Presidential Spokesperson pointed out.
Basescu: Such a decision encourages abuses
The President’s decision not to invite officials with legal problems at the December 1st military parade and Presidential Palace reception has stirred reactions. Ex-President Traian Basescu was the first to react, expressing his opinion that such a decision encourages abuses.
“When I was president, I asked the protocol personnel to invite all members of Parliament, except those who were detained or arrested. This is a bit too much and we are sending a poor signal right from the helm of the state. A person is a lawbreaker when they receive a final sentence. Let’s not invent a category that the Criminal Code does not include. Abuses are being encouraged. It’s not the best solution,” Basescu said on RTV.
The ex-President also said he received an invitation just for himself but he will not go alone at the military parade. Basescu even joked on this topic. “I received an invitation and I will attend the reception. I have three little grandchildren and they want to see the parade. I don’t think we are banned from bringing along our little grandchildren. Will they arrest my grandchildren now? I will be there with all three of them. If my wife’s schedule allows her to attend the reception,” Basescu added.