Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Monday that he will not attend the swearing-in ceremony for the new Cabinet members at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, in protest to President Iohannis’ statement that he does not acknowledge the presumption of innocence principle.
“I will not attend the swearing-in ceremony for the new ministers taking place at Cotroceni. I would like to inform the public about the significance of this decision. In the first place, my skipping the event represents my punctual protest against the statement made by the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, that he no longer acknowledges the principle of the presumption of innocence that applies to all citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution. Recent history has proven that Mr. President applies this principle selectively depending on how the subject pertains to one camp or another, or to himself,” reads a release on the Senate website.
Tariceanu also argues that the Head of State “has relinquished his role as guarantor of the Constitution”, which is unacceptable to Parliament.
“Secondly, through this gesture I wanted to publicly red-flag the fact that the President of Romania has relinquished his role as guarantor of the Constitution he swore upon at his installation in office, which is unacceptable to Parliament, to Romania’s Senate whose Speaker I am, and to any Romanian citizen. I voice hope that President Iohannis will review his position and accept that no one is above the law, not even the President of Romania, even if he now temporarily enjoys absolute immunity,” Tariceanu adds in the release.
Previously, Lower House Speaker Liviu Dragnea also announced he would not attend the new ministers’ swearing-in ceremony.
Presidential Administration gets new ministerial picks
The new nominations – Paul Stanescu as Development Minister, Felix Stroe as Transport Minister and Marius Nica as European Grants Minister – on Monday arrived at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace for consideration, according to the Presidential Administration.