Senate’s Legal Committee has postponed for three weeks the debates on the Pardon Law, at the request of the Justice Minister, arguing that the Executive will come with a package of complementary measures for the situation in penitentiaries. Minister Tudorel Toader stated that he will talk to the PM Sorin Grindeanu also about the possibility to withdraw the draft law.
The proposal to postpone the debate was made by the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated that the Government is now working on a draft law containing four complementary measures to solve the problems in penitentiaries.
The Chairman of the Senate’s Legal Committee, Serban Nicolae, agreed the proposal, but he wished, however, the debates to be also held in the Tuesday meeting.
“Are there still doubts on the usefulness of such a measure (the pardon – e.n.)? (…) Let’s make things clear, do not believe that there is someone who has an interest”, he said.
PNL, through Senator Alina Gorghiu, stated that Liberals do not support the current form of the draft law, which is “inappropriate”, saying that they wish the debate to be postponed for at least three weeks, in order for the Government to come with a complete package. PSD Senator Robert Cazanciuc has also supported the idea.
However, PSD Senator Serban Nicolae insisted to have the debates, given that the draft law initiated by the Government, who is now subject of the Senate’s debate, will be tacitly adopted on April 25, so debates are needed until then.
“No salary is deemed to be sufficient, but that doesn’t mean we renounce to receive it for one month” said the Senator, trying to convince his colleagues not to give up from having the debates.
Magistrates’ Association in Romania (AMR) was against the postponement, stating that specialists of the institution have “worked” in order to come in front of the Parliament with answers to the amendments, and it wouldn’t be fair not to hold the debate.
“It wouldn’t be fair for this proposal to leave without having a debate, (…) especially because these are clear technical issues which must be resolved”, stated the AMR representative.
In the end, Serban Nicolae agreed the idea of the postponement, saying that Justice Ministry could even withdraw the draft law from the Parliament, given that it hasn’t been included yet on the agenda of the first Chamber.
“Any draft law can be withdrawn until it is included on the agenda of the plenum. You will appreciate if this is the right solution” he said, being also supported by Alina Gorghiu.
JusMin Tudorel Toader said that he cannot take this decision in the Government’s name.
“I tell you what you know very well: it is not the Justice Ministry’s initiative, it is the Government’s one. I don’t have the power right now, in front of you, to say yes, I withdraw what the Government can decide. If we agree this alternative, we make ourselves sure that we will not fit in these three weeks either. (…) I will not say if I accept this suggestion or not, until I consult with the PM and with the entire Government” stated the Minister.
By unanimous vote, the debates have been postponed until April 11.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Tuesday that the Executive will present a draft law on complementary measures to the pardon, in order to solve the problems in the penitentiaries, stating that pardon must be discussed, since it’s not “a decorative institution”, but the measure also has to really solve the problems.