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March 2, 2021

President Iohannis: No place at state’s helm for legally embattled persons. I haven’t been and am not afraid of being suspended

Replying on Tuesday to a question as to the possibility that the future governing lineup might include persons subject to criminal investigation, President Klaus Iohannis said that there is no place for such persons at the helm of the state.

“Currently these are just informal talks, I believe I will be officially informed about the persons proposed for taking office, but you already know my opinion, specifically that there is no place at the helm of the state for people currently under investigation, or who are about to be prosecuted, or who have already been handed down a criminal conviction,” said the President after the annual meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Bucharest.

Asked if he also let Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea know his position during the recent consultations at the Cotroceni Palace, the President replied that his opinion is perfectly known and that the principle of integrity should be set forth in the Constitution.

“My position is very well known. Regrettably this [principle] is not yet stated in the Constitution, but I think we all need to join efforts to improve this situation. This is also why, when I attended the meeting of the Superior Council of the Magistracy, I suggested that if we already are about to discuss the Constitution and how to better it, it it my belief that the principle of integrity must be enshrined in the Constitution itself,” Iohannis said.

He pointed out that he would have a quite difficult time working with a government that includes legally embattled ministers.

“For the time being, the President has only few levers at hand. Therefore, for this approach I want the principle of integrity to be enshrined in the Constitution, for this discussion to no longer arise in another circumstance. I hope that we will smoothly overcome this stage,” added the head of the state.

Asked whether he intends to talk with the Premier-designate before the formation of the Cabinet, Iohannis replied: “We shall see.”

“When I spoke to Mrs. [PM-designate] Dancila, I focused on the person, because this is what it was about, not the government, we are next to see what team the PSD will be fielding,” Iohannis said.


“I haven’t been and am not afraid of being suspended”


President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday that he is not afraid of being suspended.

“I haven’t been and am not afraid of being suspended. There is no reason for suspension. Slowly, but surely this thing must be eliminated from the public discussion,” the head of state added at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after the annual meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Bucharest.

Asked about his arguments for accepting Viorica Dancila for the premier position, he specified that the parliamentary majority recommended her.

“I talked about these matters at the time of the appointment and I said back then, and perhaps some thought I said it out of complacency, I weighed all the arguments and I reached the conclusion that it is the alternative that I must accept,” President Iohannis said, adding that before greenlighting Viorica Dancila, he had a meeting with her, as it would have been strange to make a nomination without knowing the person.

He affirmed that he is expecting Dancila to be a guarantor of the independence of Justice and of the strengthening of the rule of law.

“This is certainly what is expected from a prime minister and I hope it is going to happen, we shall see,” Iohannis showed.


Iohannis, about protests: These people are to be admired; they want stable country, independent justice


He  used the opportunity to state that  he “watched very closely” the protests at the end of last week and voiced his admiration for the protesters.

“I watched very closely the latest protests. These people are to be admired. They came (…) to show the politicians in Romania that they want a stable, prosperous country, (…) an independent justice, a decent and efficient governing,” Iohannis said, after the annual meeting with the heads of the diplomatic missions accredited in Bucharest.

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