The activity of the committee of inquiry into the presidential elections of 2009 has been extended for another 60 days, via a decision adopted by Parliament’s Joint Standing Bureaus, considering that its proper activity was “blocked” by Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar’s refusal to provide the classified dossier concerning the elections and by the fact that DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi did not say whether she was at Gabriel Oprea’s on the night of the runoff.
“Bearing in mind the complexity of the activity of the parliamentary committee of inquiry and the fact that it was blocked by Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar’s refusal to put at the disposal of the committee of inquiry classified dossier no.213/P/2017, in order for it to establish the truth regarding aspects related to the way elections were organised in 2009 and to the result of the presidential elections, and also by National Anticorruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi’s refusal to answer whether she was present, on the evening of 6 December 2009, at Mr Gabriel Oprea’s house, we hereby ask that the committee’s activity be extended for another 60 days in order for it to accomplish the objectives included in the decision to set it up, by proposing the modification of Parliament Decision no.39/2017,” reads the request that the Joint Standing Bureaus approved on Wednesday.
Special committee to set Criminal Code in line with Constitutional Court rulings
Parliament’s Joint Standing Bureaus approved on Wednesday the PSD-ALDE request to set up a special committee that would set the text of the Criminal Code in line with Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) rulings. PNL’s Lower House whip Raluca Turcan stated that this is a recognition of the fact that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader “did not do his duty” and of the parliamentary majority’s “inability” to take decisions for the proper functioning of the judiciary.
“Today, PSD confirmed by vote that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader did not do his duty. Within the Joint Standing Bureaus, PSD and ALDE requested the setting up of a special parliamentary committee that would set the text of the Criminal Code in line with Constitutional Court rulings. This was the first statement that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader made when taking office, and was an argument he assumed in his capacity as Justice Minister. After months in which he procrastinated the adoption of some measures on the issue of detention conditions in the penitentiaries, and on the discrepancy that currently exists between the Criminal Code and CCR rulings, we see how the Justice Minister receives a censure vote in Romania’s Parliament. Consequently, PNL has asked the PSD-ALDE alliance that, along with this censure vote given within the JSBs, a censure vote should also be given by endorsing the motion on the judiciary that PNL and USR have tabled,” Raluca Turcan stated at the end of the Joint Standing Bureaus meeting.
The PNL leader claimed that “it’s a recognition of the inability to take decisions for the proper functioning of the judiciary.”
“It’s a recognition of the fact that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader has entirely different preoccupations at the helm of the ministry. (…) The Justice Ministry should not lead to the politicisation of some institutions, which would see justice siding with the privileged,” she added.
Raluca Turcan also stated that PNL is once again asking Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to resign, considering that his sole preoccupation is the politicisation of the system.
“Consequently, PNL is once against demanding the resignation of the Justice Minister. It would be a normal gesture, a gesture of admitting that the sole preoccupation is the politicisation of this system, on one hand executing via the Justice Ministry the interests of a great deal of the PSD and ALDE members who are at odds with the law and, on the other hand, intimidating the Opposition,” Raluca Turcan concluded.
On Wednesday, the Joint Standing Bureaus also approved the setting up of two committees of inquiry that would audit the activity of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) and the situation concerning the archives of the former Independent Service for Protection and Anticorruption (SIPA).
Committee for the auditing of ANRE’s activity, set up to investigate “the latest oscillations of energy prices”
PSD leaders approved, on Tuesday, Premier Mihai Tudose’s request to set up a parliamentary committee of inquiry meant to investigate “what were the latest oscillations of energy prices.”
“Today [Tuesday], the coalition discussed and approved the Prime Minister’s request and tomorrow we will approve in the joint plenum the setting up of a committee of inquiry into the ANRE, because it’s good for us and the population to find out what happened there and what were the latest oscillations of energy prices,” PSD President Liviu Dragnea announced following PSD’s Standing National Bureau meeting.
In his turn, Premier Mihai Tudose pointed out that problems related to ANRE’s legal obligations and the lack of some procedures were identified this summer.
“Given the fact that the ANRE is not subordinated to the Government, the only entity capable of seeing what is there, of shedding light, is Parliament. The Government asked Parliament for an investigation in this sense,” Tudose added.
In early August, Premier Mihai Tudose asked Energy Minister Toma Petcu to ask Parliament to start an investigation at the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) after delays registered in some tenders led to a hike in the price of electricity.
USR’s Gotiu: We’ve seen a race for inquiry committees; had we wanted to become prosecutors, we’d have enrolled in law school
On Wednesday, Save Romania Union (USR) Senator Mihai Gotiu criticised, within Parliament’s joint plenum, the ruling coalition’s requests to set up a new committee of inquiry and to extend the deadline on which the committee of inquiry into the presidential elections must file its report, stating that MPs are not prosecutors and these committees are “a bluff” that is turning into media circus.
“Today we’ve seen this race for committees of inquiry that are more than debatable. Had we wanted to become prosecutors we would have enrolled in law school, we would have taken the magistracy entrance exams and we would have worked as prosecutors. As parliamentarians, we have entirely different instruments and entirely different responsibilities. My recommendation is that you should no longer continue this bluff that only serves to become media circus, that you should no longer rule in a discretionary manner this Parliament, which is an institution of all Romanian citizens not just an institution meant to defend your cronies and to defend the lawbreakers,” Mihai Gotiu stated.
USR’s proposal on setting up committee of inquiry into no-confidence motion against Grindeanu Gov’t, rejected
The Lower House and Senate’s joint plenum rejected on Wednesday – with 46 votes in favour, 279 against and 38 abstentions – USR’s proposal to set up a committee of inquiry into the way the no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government was voted.
At the start of the joint plenum meeting, USR Senator Mihai Gotiu asked for the order of the day to include an extra point regarding the setting up of a committee of inquiry into the way the no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government was voted.
“There are vote rigging suspicions based on the video recordings made. The number of those who cast ballots is lower than the total number of ballots. We ask you to include this point on the order of the day in order to eliminate these suspicions that hover over Romanian parliamentarians,” Mihai Gotiu stated.