The national referendum on the continuation of the anticorruption fight is “President Iohannis’s means to politically recharge himself,” PSD Dambovita President and Senator Adrian Tutuianu stated on Thursday at a press conference in Targoviste.
“And the referendum, to give an honest answer, is President Iohannis’s means to politically recharge himself. The referendum is based not on the desire to consolidate the judiciary but on the president’s desire to find a constitutional framework in which to politically recharge himself,” Tutuianu said.
He added that the electorate will be able to decide at the ballot box whether the president acted correctly or not.
“The Romanian electorate will decide whether the president acted correctly or not. It will do so firstly by taking part in the referendum or not and, secondly, it will be able to decide a political censure in 2019. For politicians there is political censure, you go to the polls and the man votes for you or not,” Adrian Tutuianu said.
The Social Democrat Senator added that Parliament’s approval of the referendum comes with fine print.
“The president has the right to trigger a national referendum. Parliament’s approval is non-binding. We specified that the approval is conditioned by the observance of some constitutional norms, by the observance of some Constitutional Court decisions which stipulate what national referendum means, in what domains, and by the observance of ECHR praxis and Venice Commission decisions. That’s what we said in our approval, because one can’t block it in principle,” the PSD Senator said, Agerpres informs.
The PSD Dambovita President claimed that, in his view, the referendum is a pointless expenditure, but the political party whose member he is will issue a political position on the referendum once the question that will be put on the ballot paper will be officially known.
“We will express our political position on the referendum the moment we see the question. It remains to be seen. Personally, I see no finality for the referendum and I share the publicly expressed opinion that we are incurring a pointless expense to find out or not to find out… because look at what could happen: the voter turnout threshold is not met, does that mean Romanians do not back the anticorruption fight?” Senator Adrian Tutuianu said.
On January 24, President Klaus Iohannis sent a letter to the Speakers of the two Chambers of Parliament, informing them that he has triggered a national referendum on the continuation of the fight against corruption and ensuring the integrity of public office. Parliament had a 20-day deadline to issue its opinion on this request. Its opinion was non-binding.
The Lower Chamber’s and Senate’s Judiciary Committees unanimously adopted positive reports on President Klaus Iohannis’s request, and then on Monday, February 13, Parliament approved the president’s referendum request.