The amendment to the regulation of the Deputies’ Chamber was published on Wednesday in the Official Journal, after one hour since it was adopted by the plenum of the Chamber.
The plenum of the Deputies’ Chamber adopted on Wednesday the amendment of its own operational rules, with 176 pros (PSD, ALDE, UDMR), 88 cons (PNL, USR, PMP) and 3 abstentions, so that the time for debating a normative act in this body will be significantly reduced. Just one hour before, the Regulation Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber adopted an admission report for the proposed amendments to the regulation.
“After the time for debate established according to the complexity of the report was ended, the debate is closed and the chairman of the meeting submits the amendments included in the committee’s report to voting, in the following order: firstly, the voting will refer to the amendments proposing the removal of certain texts, then to the amendments adopted by the committee. If none of these amendments will not be adopted, the voting will refer to the rejected amendments in the report, in the order specified therein. If one of the amendments will be accepted by the majority of the present deputies, the other amendments are deemed as rejected. If none of the amendments in the report will reach the needed number of votes in order to be adopted, the initial form is deemed to be adopted” reads the amendment adopted by the Regulation Committee at the proposal of the PSD MP Eugen Nicolicea.
He motivated his proposal to amend the regulation of the Deputies’ Chamber by invoking a decision of the Constitutional Court since 2001, which provides that: “Deputies’ Chamber, by virtue of its regulatory autonomy established by the art. 61 para. (1) the first sentence of the Constitution, has the right to regulate the procedure of the amendments”.
Another amendment to the regulation is related to the way of electing the chairmen of the standing committees.
“The members of the committee can reject only once, in a motivated manner, the proposal of the parliamentary group to which the position has been appointed, in which case the parliamentary group in question will nominate another person, and the election of the candidate will follow the procedure provided by para. (4)” reads the new text of the para. (8) of the article 146 of the Deputies’ Chamber regulation.
USR MPs submitted no less than 6,623 amendments to the Deputies’ Chamber regulation, but the Chairman of the Regulation Committee Eugen Nicolicea refused to take them into account for the voting.
The initiative to amend the regulation initially belonged to the PSD MP Florin Iordache, but his proposal was rejected by the committee at the beginning of this week.
Social Democrats had the idea to amend the Deputies’ Chamber regulation after the last Wednesday, when the opposition called for a vote on all the amendments admitted and rejected to Law 303/2004 on the status of magistrates, which made the plenary session of the Deputies’ Chamber last almost 13 hours.
The general debates on amending the regulation were hot, the opposition accusing PSD, ALDE and UDMR of using undemocratic practices.
“Do you know what is all about this amendment of the regulation? I’m not saying it ironically, I just want to make sure that you know what you are voting for. For 23 years, the regulation functioned, but today, in less than 24 hours, an amendment is proposed. I am sure that many people in this room don’t know what all is about. The regulation provides that the report had to be distributed to the deputies at least three days before. I understand that there is an urgent situation, but what’s the urgency? The committee was summoned last night at 19.00, in order to meet today at 9.00. The regulation says that a committee has to be summoned at least 24 hours before. I am asking you to read the text, don’t vote like Daea’s sheep, be aware of what you are voting for. Don’t mock the parliamentary procedure” stated the PMP MP Robert Turcescu.
Liberal Gabriel Andronache announced that PNL will challenge the amendment of the regulation to CCR.
“Only the power will be able to express itself, the opposition will exist as a decoration in Parliament. This is the conclusion of the today’s discussion. You have decided to breach the regulation. After you obtained the limitation of the debating time, you are making an even more serious abuse: you deprive opposition from the right to vote its amendments. We appreciate that the way in which you debate this draft decision is unlawful and you breach at least three decisions of the Constitutional Court. We will challenge this draft decision to the Constitutional Court” Andronache stated in the plenary session of the Chamber.
“I draw you attention to the fact that the text read by Nicolicea is a fake. The report doesn’t contain all the amendments submitted to the committee. What the committee chairman is doing is a forgery and use of forgery under private signature. Today, the parliamentary majority provides us with so many lemons that we could offer lemonade to the whole population. By amending the regulation, the plenum of the Chmber is emptied of its content, we will have a symbolic plenum. It’s a sign of the dictatorship of the state party PSD. I don’t think that people voted you to demolish democracy. Shame on you! Put all the amendments submitted to the committee to the vote” the USR MP Stanciu Viziteu also said.
The microphone was cut to the USR MP Catalin Drula when he pronounced Liviu Dragnea’s name.
“You were annoyed that you spent 11 hours here last week. Dragnea told you to stay here. The procedure bothered you, and as any rudimentary politicians, you put the procedure to the ground” Drula stated.
“I will make an abuse now and I’ll cut your microphone. You offended us enough for one minute” the Chairman of the meeting, Social Democrat Gabriel Vlase, told him.
“UDMR is your accomplice, and it’s shameful that a party which was seen with hope in the 90s sells itself now for a small thing, and it doesn’t want a fair justice, in order for us not to be robbed by thieves” Drula continued.
“Today is the last day of democracy in the Parliament. If these laws are so good, why are you afraid to debate them? Why does daddy Dragnea want to make everybody silent? What happened to UDMR is hallucinating. Last Wednesday, there were two of them in the room, the rest of them were staying at the group to be able to negotiate. What you are doing together is country treason” the PNL MP Razvan Prisca warned from the tribune.
UDMR defended itself and called to calmness.
“The plenum needs a tolerant power and a reasonable opposition. There were no negotiations for Targu Mures yesterday. We don’t want certain delicate issues requiring everybody’s support to be discussed this way. Don’t try to hit PSD with a nationalism, don’t try to bring a community that wished stability in the country for 27 years to front. Please do not offend us or others. Don’t offend communities, whatever they are” the UDMR MP Szabo Odon stated.
MEP Dancila: Amendment to House Regulations adopts European Parliament’s model
Viorica Dancila, leader of Romanian Social Democratic MEPs, claims that the amendment to the House Regulations introduces stipulations similar to the European Parliament’s Procedural Regulations, which are meant to give cursivity to the legislative process.
“The Opposition’s protests toward the amendment brought to the House Regulations are in fact protests toward the introduction of provisions that are in the European spirit, that seek to keep the legislative process cursive, but also civilised. In the European Parliament, amendments rejected by the relevant committees can be put up for vote within the plenum only in very special conditions. Parliament must not be an institution of PR wars and scandals, as those from the Opposition want it to become. The national legislative body must remain an institution that would seriously debate proposals and legislate. The fact that Romanian Opposition parties lack the maturity to understand what is a Parliament’s mission is regrettable. There are no European Union states in which Parliament is treated with so much lack of respect by its very members,” Viorica Dancila points out in a PSD press release.
The amendment brought to the House Regulations was published on Wednesday, in the Official Journal, an hour after it was adopted by the House plenum.