The ordinance abrogating the amendment of the Criminal Codes and the referendum initiated by President Klaus Iohannis will be on the Parliament’s agenda of the week that starts on Monday, given that PSD’s Liviu Dragnea made a call to adopt the GEO No.14/2017 as soon as possible.
The Chairmen of the two Chambers of the Parliament have decided to organize a session of the Joint Permanent Bureaus on Monday, starting at 12.00, to convene the joint plenum that has to vote on the favorable opinion issued by the legal committees related to President Iohannis’s initiative to hold a referendum on continuing the fight against corruption.
Legal committees recommended that the question to be subject of the referendum to observe the Constitution, the CCR decisions and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
During the debate, the Chairman of the Legal Committee, PSD MP Eugen Nicolicea, warned about the international consequences of the referendum, referring to the New York UN Convention against Corruption, transposed into the Romanian laws.
In his turn, PSD Senator Serban Nicolae stated that he supports the favorable opinion, but he believes that the referendum proposed by President Iohannis is not necessary.
“I propose that the draft of the decision we prepare should consist in the favorable opinion, meaning that the legal requirements to hold the referendum exist. But I’d like to ask those of you who claim that it’s necessary – in my opinion, it isn’t necessary -, to also identify the necessary financial resources and to appreciate if it is good to reveal that there is a confrontation inside the Romanian society between those who want the fight against corruption to continue and those who don’t. It’s hard for me to identify those who don’t want the fight against corruption to continue, except those who were convicted (…)” stated the Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Senate.
Serban Nicolae claimed that it wouldn’t be good for Romania to show to the “global public opinion” that there is somebody who is against anticorruption.
“(…) to reveal to the global public opinion the idea that, in Romania, somebody might be against the anticorruption fight, because a consultation involves all the possible options, and I don’t believe it is a good thing for us. I haven’t seen any legislative initiative to diminish the anticorruption fight or to be against it (…) I’m not talking here about political speculations on an ordinance that didn’t produce any legal consequences, I am talking about concrete measures”, PSD Senator Serban Nicolae also stated.
PNL Senator Alina Gorghiu stated that “the idea of cost invoked in the Legal Committee is pointless:, stating that combining costs with a matter of the democracy in Romania “is not serious”.
In response, Serban Nicolae stated that the budget for 2017 didn’t provide the costs to hold the referendum proposed by Klaus Iohannis, and the supporters of the President’s initiative should have made this approach.
“I’ve noticed the hypocrisy of those who, supporting such a political gesture of the President, didn’t rush to ask themselves where the necessary amounts will be taken from”, said Serban Nicolae.
“I don’t think it will cost more than corruption has costed to us until now and it will continue to cost us” stated PNL MP Catalin Predoiu.
Speaker Dragnea urges Parliament to pass GEO 14/2017 as soon as procedurally possible
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea on Friday urged Parliament to follow the procedures for the approval of a law sanctioning Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 14/2017 abrogating recent controversial amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
“As speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) I am urging all my Parliament colleagues to approve, as soon as procedurally possible, a law sanctioning Ordinance 14 abrogating Government’s latest amendments to the two codes. So far as I understand, all the parliamentary parties want that. So, there is a quasi-unanimity to this end, which means defeating OUG 14 is out of the question, while prolonging debates on this topic is unjustifiable,” Dragnea said Friday in a press statement released by the Chamber of Deputies.
He explained that urgency for a debate on OUG14 arises from the nature of the ordinance itself and no special request is needed.
“I have heard some parties ask for urgent debates on OUG14. There is no need for an express request for that. Given that thus is an emergency ordinance, it has to be discussed urgently. That is what the Constitution of Romania says at Article 115 (5). What I am asking is for the emergency procedure to be followed as soon as procedurally possible, so that Parliament may vote on the abrogation of Ordinance 13 and swiftly send the law for promulgation,” said Dragnea.
The Government on February 5 passed OUG 14/2017 abrogating Emergency Ordinance 13/2017 amending and supplementing Law 286/2009 concerning the Criminal Code and Law 135/2010 concerning the Code of Criminal Procedure. The OUG was published in the Official Journal, Part I the same day.
PSD Vice President Doina Pana: We will vote for GEO No.13’s abrogation and for approving GEO No.14
PSD Vice President Doina Pana stated on Friday in a press conference held at Bistrita that the PSD-ALDE majority will vote in the Parliament for GEO No.13’s abrogation and for approving GEO No.14, even if “we have other beliefs”.
PSD Vice President, MP Doina Pana, said that the suspicions according to which parliamentarians will vote against GEO No.14 abrogating GEO No.13 are not grounded.
“I want assure everybody, after I found out that there are suspicions, a massive fear that parliamentarians will actually vote GEO No.13 and against GEO No.14. I want to assure them, from PSD and ALDE, meaning the parliamentary majority, that as long as the Government that we support issued the ordinance abrogating GEO No.13, it will be like this! Even if we have other beliefs, we’ll vote in Parliament for abrogating GEO No.13 and for approving GEO No.14, which actually does exactly this… There is no ambiguity, it will be like this. We have the majority in Parliament and it will be like this” Pana stated for Mediafax.
She also announced that these debates on the reform in judiciary will take place, and international experts will be asked to help in drawing up the documents.
Besides, large public debates will be held in order for everybody to be informed on the amendments to be made in the judiciary field.
“Approving GEO No.14 doesn’t mean that we, as Parliament, will renounce to make a reform of the whole judiciary system. This will happen, but after a large debate, and this debate will also involve the participation of the EU experts, of the Venice Commission and of the Council of Europe”, PSD Vice President also added.
Traian Basescu, after the PMP National College session: We will vote for GEO No.13’s abrogation
President of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), Traian Basescu, stated on Friday, after the session of the PMP National College, that the party will vote for the approving GEO No.14 which abrogates GEO No.13, by the law, criticizing the manner of making laws in Parliament.
“We will vote for GEO No.13’s abrogation and for approving GEO no.14 through a law” Traian Basescu stated.
The former President was asked if he believes that consultations must be held at Cotroceni on this matter.
“It’s the Parliament’s job. We don’t interfere into the other’s business anymore. The discussions on revising the unconstitutional articles of the Criminal Code must take place in Parliament. Any unconstitutional issue must be solved in Parliament, that’s what the Constitution provides. Of course, the Government can also intervene with ordinances, but this kind of interventions are not appropriate anymore. Let’s consult less and do the right things, I mean there are around 55 decisions of the Constitutional Court finding the unconstitutionality of some articles or formulations of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, the Codes have to be harmonized with the CCR decisions. (…) We have legal duties to sit down at the table and revise certain articles of the Criminal Code”, the PMP President underlined.
PNL’s Turcan: Dragnea is directly liable for the PSD blow on justice, as well as its main beneficiary
PNL Interim chair, MP Raluca Turcan, stated on Friday that the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea is directly liable for the “blow” on justice through the GEO No.13, as well as the main beneficiary related to its case in which he is accused of instigation to abuse of office.
“The problem has been moved, in a skillful manner, that’s true, from the Government’s yard to the Parliament’s yard, where Mr. Liviu Dragnea is the boss. I believe this thing, like any Romanian in good faith. Mr. Liviu Dragnea decides everything that happens in PSD and ALDE. He shows this t us every day. He announces us when Mr. Iordache will resign, he knows the government program from cover to cover, and Dragnea anticipates, if he hasn’t Mama Omida’s qualities, everything to be performed by the Romanian Government. Therefore, the direct liable person for this blow is Liviu Dragnea, who continues to have the majority in Parliament” Raluca Turcan stated, according to Agerpres.
Asked about the fact that voices from judiciary spoke about a constitutional challenge of the GEO No.14 abrogating GEO No.13, and what the legal consequences of this situation could be, Turcan answered that she is convinced that PSD and Liviu Dragnea “are capable of anything”.
“I am not a lawyer and I’ve noticed there are many opinions in the public space, but allow me to say something: I believe that PSD and ALDE are capable of anything, because their political gesture was premeditated. There were people who worked to save their party leader, namely Mr. Dragnea, through the law. So it’s very possible, it’s very possible that this succession – GEO 13, GEO 14, this game that they made in the Government and continue to do in the Parliament, will lead to the salvation of the political protégés. Mr. Liviu Dragnea is the main beneficiary, and the whole country knows it. Mr. Liviu Dragnea said in a press conference that he and his lawyers have analyzed the impact of the GEO No.13 on his case. And, as far as I know, Mr. Dragnea has good lawyers, and I believe that absolutely nothing will stop him to try to save the theft in Romania by the law”, PNL President added.
PNL Sibiu First Vice President and President of the County Council, lawyer Daniela Cimpean, has also stated in this context, in the same press conference, that there are different opinions in the legal field, related to GEO No.13 and the moment when it will produce consequences, including the opinion according to which it can enter into force on Saturday, February 11, and the enlightening issue in this regard will be if Dragnea’s lawyers will invoke its provisions at the hearing of February 14, in his trial.
“It’s obvious it’s an unprecedented situation, created in the legal field by these two GEOs, and this thing is asserted by law practitioners, judges who are called to apply criminal regulations, and Judge Cristi Danilet himself, on yesterday, in an intervention at Realitatea TV, stated that judges who judge criminal cases are thinking about it and there are pros and cons until this GEO No.13 will start to produce consequences. And I’d like to warn you that there are opinions, legal opinions, according to which this GEO 13 can enter into force on February 11, after midnight, so this kind of interpretations may also exist. I think we can also find out if this was intended, if we’ll watch the first hearing in Mr. Dragnea’s case, and we’ll see if his lawyers will invoke this constitutional challenge on February 14. I think it will be enlightening” Daniela Cimpean also stated.