PM Sorin Grindeanu said Thursday evening in Jerusalem that his cabinet does not support the amendments worked out by the Senate’s Judiciary Committee to the pardoning law, adding that the government is nonetheless open to certain good ideas.
“We are supporting the version of the bill as adopted by the Government. I believe I have been very clear about everything pertaining to pardoning corruption offences: I do not agree with the amendments, I do not support them, and neither does the Government (…) We surely are open to certain good ideas but that will have nothing to do with such amendments,” Grindeanu said in response to his take on protests in the country after the amendments passed.
Asked if he talked to members of his Social Democratic Party (PSD) or Justice Minister Tudorel Toader after the passage of the amendments, Grindeanu said: “I talked to the justice minister, asking him whether or not he attended yesterday’s meeting of [Senate’s] Judiciary Committee [that passed the amendments]. He said a senior official did who advocated the Government’s opinion.”
Asked whether or not such parliamentary initiative undermines the Government’s objective of having the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism – under which the European Commission assesses Romania’s progress with judiciary reform – lifted sooner than later, Grindeanu said: “From what I’ve noticed today, things got clarified, in that the amendments were defeated in the final report, which is a very good thing. And I am convinced that such slippages will be clarified either by a plenary vote or the vote in the other chamber so as to prevent such incidents,” said the prime minister.
At the same time, Grindeanu said each parliamentarian has a right to start legislative initiatives in motion.
“Each parliamentarian has the right to legislative initiatives, be them amendments or bills. Currently, the Justice Ministry is conducting a comprehensive consultation and promotion process concerning bills in this area that are very important, be it the judiciary laws or the bill currently under public consultations to bring in line the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure with the rulings of the Constitutional Court, or the comprehensive public consultation for the updating of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure,” said Grindeanu.
He added that the process will be transparent. “We seem to have had too many rulings of the Constitutional Court claiming that certain articles in the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure are unconstitutional (…) This is a process that must be transparent and subject to public debate to allow Parliament to pass bills of such impact,” said Grindeanu.
Senate: Judiciary Committee excludes passive bribery, influence peddling, active bribery and purchase of influence from pardon-granting list. JusMin Toader says annulling amendments to pardon bill is good news, wisdom prevailed