President Klaus Iohannis addressed Parliament on Tuesday, 12 p.m., as he had requested. On his arrival, President Klaus Iohannis was met by the Opposition’s Lower Chamber Deputy Speaker Catalin Predoiu (PNL) and Senate Deputy Speaker Mihai Gotiu (USR), not by the Speakers of the two Chambers – Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu – as was the custom.
The Head of State said that given the current crisis repealing emergency government ordinance (OUG) no.13 and “the possible anguished dismissal of a minister” is not enough, while early elections are “too much.”
The President told the MPs: “you won, now govern!” and said that Romania needs a strong Government “that works transparently, predictably and not at night, furtively.”
After these statements, PSD MPs left the hall. “You’re tired already? Tough luck,” the President said.
Iohannis on PSD: A strange kamikaze-like strategy, in collision with one part of society
President Klaus Iohannis stated before Parliament on Tuesday that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) must come up with a solution to address the problem generated by the emergency ordinance amending the Criminal Codes.
“Hundreds of thousands of Romanians are protesting in the street. The nation is on alert, is alive, is paying attention and is very dissatisfied. An important sociological survey carried out in the last 3 days shows that almost 80 percent of Romanians believe the country is going in the wrong direction,” the President said.
Moreover, Iohannis emphasised that he congratulates those who took part in the protests.
“That brilliant picture showing phone lights in Victoriei Square, I believe you all know it. When politicians tried to take democracy on dark corridors, Romanians took to the street and brought back the light in the democratic process,” the Head of State said.
“Kudos to parents who brought children to anti-government protest, let’s keep democracy alive”
Democracy must be kept alive, President Klaus Iohannis told the Parliament plenary sitting, congratulating in this context the parents who brought their children along to the anti-government protests in Victoriei Square.
“Democracy is never a default setting and plenty of democracy requires plenty of education, and I give kudos to the parents who brought their children to Victoriei Square for an authentic lesson of democracy,” said Iohannis.
He also underscored that democracy must be kept alive.
“Let us keep democracy alive and the country literally and figuratively clean for the generations that come after us, for Romania’s future,” advised the head of state.
Repeal of GEO No.13, a minister’s anguished sacking – not enough; early elections – too much
President Klaus Iohannis told the Parliament plenary session on Tuesday that the ruling party, PSD (Social Democratic Party), after winning the legislative elections, had a “suicidal strategy,” its first concern being to deal with the “lawbreakers’ dossiers.”
“How did we get here, just one month after elections? On 11 December, the PSD achieved a great victory, and yet afterwards with a strange suicidal strategy it entered a head-on collision with a significant part of the Romanian society. In the elections campaign, it promised something. It promised something in the campaign and then commenced with something else. It is now there for everyone to see the gap separating your true desires and concerns from your campaign promises. (…) Your first concern was to deal with the lawbreakers’ dossiers and the Romanians are furious and outraged,” said Iohannis.
The Head of the State declared that the repealing of GEO No. 13 amending criminal law and maybe the anguished dismissal of a minister is not enough for the country to get out of impasse.
“What shall we do? What are the solutions at hand, what leeway do we have to get out of this impasse? The withdrawal of GEO No. 13 and maybe the anguished dismissal of a minister are definitely not enough. Yet, on the other hand, early elections are too much at this stage. That’s what defines our leeway. Who should come up with the solution? Well naturally the one that caused the trouble – PSD,” the head of state told the Parliament plenary session.
The President’s speech was interrupted several times by MPs in attendance.
“Tired already? Tough luck,” Iohannis noted dryly, reprising a comment he once made during his run for Presidency and which drew criticism back then.
“I don’t want to overthrow Gov’t, I want it govern and legislate, but not just anyhow”
Klaus Iohannis used his presence before Parliament to say that the Senate and Lower Chamber Speakers’ statements about his attempt to overthrow the government are false.
“The Speakers of the two Chambers are trying to accredit in the public realm the idea that I cannot stomach the outcome of the vote and that I would try to do something to overturn this result, they claim publicly that I would like to overthrow the legitimate Government. No. False! You have won, now govern and legislate, but not just anyhow! Romania needs a strong Government, not a Government that shyly executes party orders,” stated the Head of the State in Parliament’s plenary session.
“If PSD doesn’t urgently sort out crisis, I’ll call consultations to find solutions”
The President announced at the plenary session of the Parliament that if the ruling party, PSD (Social Democratic Party), does not “urgently” sort out the crisis, he will call consultations at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace to ponder on the possible solutions.
“Romania is not for you to trample under foot, we are in a very good macro-economic situation. Don’t put Romania in difficulty, keep the upward trend, the economic growth. Our international partners have great expectations from us. Romania is a stable, strong country in the region. We fought, gave laws and ruled for many years to pave Romania’s way to becoming a strong part of NATO, of the EU. The world has great expectations from us, let’s not disappoint them. If the PSD, which created this crisis doesn’t urgently sort it out, I’ll call consultations at the Cotroceni Palace to look at possible solutions,” Iohannis told the plenary session at the Parliament.
Iohannis: I would have addressed Government too, but it is busy
President Klaus Iohannis also criticized the absence of government representatives from this event.
“Thank you Mr. Senate Speaker, Mr. Lower Chamber Speaker, ladies and gentlemen MPs, ladies and gentlemen guests, I would have addressed the Government as well, but it is busy. But that’s fine, I have already visited them,” said Iohannis.
He wished the MPs a rewarding mandate.
“You are a new Parliament and I am happy, even thrilled that you have had the patience to sit and wait for me and I thank you for such a nice welcome. I wish good luck and a mandate full of accomplishments to new and old MPs alike,” the head of the state added, in Parliament’s plenary session.
“Immediately upon receiving Parliament’s response, I will convene referendum”
President Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday that he would convene the referendum as soon as he receives Parliament’s response to his solicitation.
“I am waiting from Parliament the response to my solicitation. Immediately after receiving it, I will convene the referendum,” declared Iohannis in the joint plenary session of the Lower Chamber and the Senate.
He explained the reasons for his decision to trigger this referendum.
“What kind of nation do we want to be? Do we want to be a strong, prosperous nation, a nation that builds for itself the rule of law and respects it, a nation that can take pride in an independent judiciary, a nation in which authorities cooperate loyally, with a strong Parliament, a proficient Government, or do we want a weak, despised nation, that places everything at stake to save a few from difficult situations, a few politicians from difficult situations? Is Romania worth this sacrifice for a few politicians? This is the question. This is the purpose of the referendum. A strong nation is built with righteous, credible politicians at the helm of the state, this is what I want for Romania and I believe this is what Romanians want too. This is the question: What kind of nation do we want to be? And, in order to really find out the sovereign will of Romanians, I will convene this referendum,” said Iohannis.