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December 4, 2022

Traian Basescu, proposal for the referendum initiated by Iohannis

Former President Traian Basescu recommends to his successor Klaus Iohannis to also include the question “Do you agree that the Romanian Parliament will consist of 100 senators and 200 deputies?” in the referendum that he will decide.

Former President has drawn attention, in a post on his Facebook account, that although Romanian people have already expressed their option for a unicameral Parliament and for a lower number of parliamentarians, the referendum of 2009 wasn’t implemented by the Parliament, which is a serious breach of the Constitution.

“Will President Iohannis play?”

“In 2009, I requested a referendum for in order to have a unicameral Parliament with 300 parliamentarians. A unicameral Parliament also involves the amendment of the Constitution, not only of the Election Law. Although it was validated by the Constitutional Court, the referendum wasn’t implemented by the Parliament, thus seriously breaching Art.2 para.1 of the Romanian Constitution, which clearly states, I quote, ‘National sovereignty belongs to the Romanian people, who exercises by its representative bodies, by consultation through free, periodic and fair elections, and by referendum”.

Today, President Iohannis could also include in the referendum he will request, the question:


<Do you agree that the Romania Parliament will consist of 100 senators and 200 deputies?>.


This question, if the referendum will be validated, makes the inobservance of the referendum’s result to be impossible, because amending the constitution will not be necessary anymore, being sufficient to amend only the Election Law.

Besides, the question has the advantage to be a catalyst for the Romanians’ turnout and it doesn’t repeat the question in 2009” Traian Basescu wrote on Facebook.

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday that in the following days he will announce the date and the question of the referendum on judiciary, not wanting to comment on the recommendations made by the Parliament in the opinion issued on Monday, and stating only that this people’s consultation is necessary.

“This referendum is necessary, that’s why I started the approaches. I will tell you in the following days what I am going to do. (…) If they appreciated that they have to make me recommendations, they made them”, Iohannis stated.

Asked if he will consider the recommendations, President ironically answered: “Other question”.

The joint plenum of the Parliament unanimously gave a positive opinion on Monday, for the referendum started by President Klaus Iohannis on judiciary.

The opinion is accompanied by three recommendations, related to the respect of the laws and conventions in this matter. According to the document, the opinion is positive, “recommending that the formulated question has to respect the Romanian Constitution, republished, the law no.3/2000 on exercising and holding the referendum, CCR decisions in this matter and the recommendations of the Code of Practice on Referendums adopted by the Venice Commission”.

Thus, Parliament warns that issues like pardon and amnesty cannot be subject to a referendum or to a citizens’ initiative, and CCR decided that the referendum convened by the President cannot have a legislative nature and it cannot lead to amendments of the Constitution. A provision of the Code of Practice in this matter, issued by the Venice Commission, is also invoked, according to which the texts that are subject to a referendum cannot violate international law.




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