POLITICS

Parliamentary committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009 continue hearings

*Octavian Opris: Ana-Maria Patru had Basescu’s portrait in her office; didn’t shy away from showing affinities

 

Octavian Opris, former president of the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP), stated on Tuesday before the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009 that Ana-Maria Patru, AEP Vice President at the time, had a portrait of Traian Basescu in her office and she did not shy away from showing her affinities with him and PDL.

“An AEP Vice President was caught by journalists attending a party, a meeting with members of a political party, namely PDL, with Traian Basescu; I believe his daughter was there too, it was an anniversary party. This is the conduct that Ana-Maria Patru had. She never shied away from showing her affinities with PDL and Traian Basescu. She even had a portrait of Traian Basescu in her office. Of course, she was grateful, because he had appointed her,” Opris stated about Ana-Maria Patru.

He pointed out he immediately warned her about the situation created.

“Undoubtedly, I warned her – but it was belated –, telling her about her capacity, if she is aware that this capacity entails certain restrictions in what concerns personal, social relations etc., not to mention political relations which have an entirely different connotation,” Opris added.

Octavian Opris was AEP President in 2009, the year the presidential elections that are the object of the inquiry committee took place. He was appointed to that office by PSD.

In 2009, Ana-Maria Patru was AEP Vice President.

During the hearings, Opris was asked about Ana-Maria Patru participating in party meetings in 2009, her objectivity toward the political actors involved in the elections being under scrutiny.

 

Muhulet: In 2009, we didn’t have the possibility to verify multiple voting

 

On the other hand, Standing Electoral Authority (AEP) Vice President Marian Muhulet (photo) told the inquiry committee that back then multiple voting could not have been prevented and its existence could only have been established post-factum.

“There were no IT dysfunctionalities during the 2009 elections, I don’t believe the INS lodged with the Central Electoral Bureau any note on there being any incidents. There were no incidents at the county bureaus either. We never had IT incidents when it comes to tallying the data. Back then however, there was no technical possibility of verifying whether multiple voting took place. The financial resources for it lacked. Now this phenomenon can be prevented, at that time we could only have detected it later on,” Marian Muhulet told the parliamentary committee of inquiry during the hearings on Monday.

Asked about the way voting took place at the embassy in Paris, where one ballot was cast every few seconds, Muhulet pointed out that “it’s impossible to vote every few seconds. The minimum time is somewhere around one minute, considering you enter and all formalities are made. The Romanian embassy in Paris, the polling station did not close at 9 p.m. I don’t know at what hour it did, but definitely not at 9 p.m.”

 

Senator Geoana: It’s unnatural that Special Telecommunications Service has anything to do with elections

 

It is “unnatural” for a secret service, namely the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) to have anything to do with the elections, the former presidential candidate for the 2009 elections, senator Mircea Geoana told on Tuesday the hearing at the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry.

“It is totally unnatural for a secret service, namely STS, to have anything to do with the elections and I won’t make any affirmation regarding the involvement or non-involvement of this service. It is unnatural and antidemocratic, I don’t think it is a country worldwide, in the authentic democratic world where a secret service is called to verify and participate in the information, transmission of votes’ counting (…) Why do we have a Permanent Election Assembly (AEP), why do we have a system of this kind? Hopefully these conclusions (of the Committee – ed. n.), beyond finding the truth or the truth in the possible limits of finding it allow our democratic system to be perfected, and an antibodies element in our democratic system for the years to come,” said Mircea Geoana at the hearing within the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on 2009 Presidential election.

Referring to the same case, senator Mircea Geoana says his surprise was “huge” when learning about Dan Andronic’s statement to the Committee’s hearing related to a meeting of the main heads of state bodies in the house of former Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea on the 2009 elections’ night.

“If what Dan Andronic says is confirmed, this looks like a certain type of conspiracy. What was its motivation, what was its finalisation, what did those people do, did they do anything legal or illegal, this is not me to say and I find it inappropriate and unnatural to make intentional processes to some people ahead of substantiating existing elements. But my surprise was huge to learning from the public space of such a meeting on the election night, people with so much influence in the Romanian state chose to gather and be together. Obviously, I don’t think it is any doubt at all as regards their preference to the fate of the second mandate,” said Mircea Geoana.

Asked if the statement of Dan Andronic is true, according to which Geoana would have told the today’s National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) head Laura Codruta Kovesi that he was going to remove her from office in case he won the 2009 presidential election, Geoana answered that he has never talked to her.

Senator Geoana goes on saying that the regime of 2009 “was a regime that has distorted the meaning of democracy.”

“When a nation’s resources, instead of being oriented to economic and social progress, are led towards a political and economic entourage that distort the meaning of administrating a state, we can say we are witnessing an antidemocratic, antinational process. If there was exclusively about the 2009 elections, perhaps I would have been more reserved in my statements, but the obvious information from the public arena regarding the broad corruption system that has been supported and tolerated in that period makes me say that this regime was entirely a regime that has distorted the meaning of our democracy and affected the chances of development and prosperity in Romania. So, in essence, a regime that has functioned against the country’s general interest,” added Geoana during his hearing.

Geoana also told the Committee that “from where I stand, it is unnatural, inappropriate and a deliberate attempt to hiding traces – the demand we have made as a party, not to the Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR), to get the minutes (of the voting outcome – med. n.) from abroad. The then Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) refused what it has as legal obligation – to send home the minutes from the Diaspora polling stations – and they didn’t. Why not? They hid that. Is it a deliberate act, I couldn’t say, but I find it odd. (…) And as far as I know, there was an internal order from the MAE that gave instructions to the embassies’ polling sections to not send the minutes which were at that moment an interesting evidence.”

He concluded by saying that he made “no vendetta or obsession” out of losing elections, even if he accepted the outcome “feeling upset.” “I respected the democratic game, although it has been crooked, the country had to move on.”

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