*Iohannis: I came to show indignation; group of politicians wants to weaken rule of law
President Klaus Iohannis has joined, on Sunday evening, the protest in University Square, where several thousand persons were protesting against the potential amendment of the criminal legislation. He stated that he came to University Square to show his indignation that “a group of politicians” wants to change legislation and weaken the rule of law.
“I have come here to University Square, as thousands other Romanians, to show my indignation. A group of politicians with problems in justice want to change legislation in Romania, they want to weaken the rule of law, something like that cannot be admitted. It’s unacceptable for legislation to change and tens and hundreds of politicians having problems with the law find themselves with clean sheets and continue their wrongdoing. Romanians are rightfully indignant,” the head of state said.
The new protests against the ordinances on the granting of pardons and the amending of the Penal Code were announced for Sunday afternoon in the country’s large cities but also abroad. In Bucharest, protesters were asked to meet in University Square and set out on a march toward Victoria Palace.
Demonstrations were also announced, on the event’s Facebook page, in other Romanian cities, including Pitesti, Piatra Neamt, Baia Mare, Suceava, Satu Mare, Brasov, Iasi. Likewise, public rallies are also scheduled in Copenhagen, Paris, London, Norway’s Haugesund.
“This is an event organised following the repeated statements and signals concerning the possible pardoning of corruption crimes or the amending of some laws without public consultation or without considering the point of view of other institutions. The Government tried to adopt on Wednesday an emergency ordinance containing important amendments to criminal legislation. Pardons could be granted and offences decriminalised without public consultation (for example, 2,200 DNA cases concern abuse of office, which the ordinance is targeting). Everything without consulting the CSM [Supreme Magistracy Council].
“Several years ago, there were no politicians investigated or convicted. If you were a poor man stealing a loaf of bread you risked years in prison. If you were a parliamentarian and you were stealing, in an organised manner, a hotel, a plant, or you were receiving a one-million-dollar bribe, the risk was almost nil. The evolution is not guaranteed, it can be erased by a simple emergency ordinance signed by several puppets of some political parties and organised groups which came to power.
“All the work carried out by some prosecutors, judges, independent NGOs, can be thrown away. The defendants’ assets, most of them taken out of your pockets, will automatically remain in their pockets,” reads the announcement posted on Facebook.
“Our demand remains the resignation of the Justice Minister and of the heads of ruling parties PSD and ALDE. Their statements are clear and they are the ones that matter even if they won’t try to do it today. Likewise, we should demand the resignation of the Health Minister, for cancelling the reforms in the domain he manages. The resignation of the head of the CNA [National Audio-visual Council] for lack of reaction to manipulations that are becoming increasingly more aggressive, and for political insubordination. We are not forgetting Ciorbea,” the organisers also wrote on the page of the event.
PNL interim President Raluca Turcan, call to the politicians from other parties: Filling a no-confidence motion is realistic
The Interim President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Raluca Turcan, stated on Sunday that next week, Liberals will have meetings with the parliamentary groups in order to support filling a no-confidence motion.
“The PSD-ALDE majority declared war against the honest people in Romania. Honest Romanians have a country project. A prosperous Romania relying on the law. A country where law is applied without discrimination, where there are not two types of people – the few and influent ones who issue ordinances for themselves, and the many, who pay taxes and always respect the law. The two ordinances don’t refer to the lack of the administrative capacity in solving the problem in prisons. If five barracks would be turned into modern detention facilities, the situation would be much improved. If this thing would have been wanted, it would have been done!” explained Turcan the Liberals’ approach.
She stated that PNL has already launched to USR the invitation to support the no-confidence motion, if it will be initiated, and next week, there will be meetings with other parliamentary parties on this matter.
“My thought goes to any person with common sense in this country, to any person who supports the democratic grounds of Romania. Therefore, if colleagues from PMP, PSD, from anywhere, will come in the Parliament or in the civil society, we will band together and we’ll defend a common cause. Filling a censure motion is realistic, because we’d have the needed number of signatures if the colleagues from USR would join us. It is too complicated to pass a censure motion, but at the same time I believe that there are a lot of people of good will in Romania, even if they are politicians from other parties” was her call.
USR leader Nicusor Dan: We will sign PNL’s censure motion. See you in the University Square
The leader of the Save Romania Union (USR), Nicusor Dan, announced on Sunday that he will sign PNL’s no-confidence motion if it will be initiated, mentioning that his party will fight against PSD-ALDE’s plans related to the judiciary, both in Parliament and in the street.
“I said in the electoral campaign that PSD’s stake is to win the power to cancel the century of prison that the corrupt politicians have to execute, as well as the prejudice of RON 1 billion that they have to pay.
We’ll fight to prevent this plan, which was launched last week, by all means, both in Parliament and in the street. We will sign PNL’s censure motion if it will be initiated, and we will fight for the simple motion of USR against Minister Florin Iordache to be adopted by the Parliament. All the forces of the opposition and society are needed to stop PSD’s plan. See you today in the University Square” Nicusor Dan wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
The no-confidence motion can be initiated by at least one fourth of the total number of deputies and senators (465); Liberals have only 99 representatives.
At the distribution of the seats for the Chamber of Deputies, PSD received 154 seats, UDMR-21, ALDE-20, while PNL-69, USR-30, and PMP-18. 17 seats have been distributed to the minorities. At the distribution of seats for the Senate, PSD received 67 seats, ALDE-9, UDMR-9, while PNL received30 seats, USR-13 and PMP-8.
If the censure motion will be rejected, deputies and senators who initiated it cannot sign a new censure motion in the same session, excepting the case when the Government assumes the responsibility according to the Article no.114 of Romania’s Constitution.