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Civil society wants President Iohannis to hold consultations prior to making decision on top anti-corruption prosecutor. Divergent opinions in PSD on impeaching Iohannis if he does not dismiss Laura Kovesi

Agroup of 37 organisations, including Corruption Kills, Initiative Romania, and The Group for Social Dialogue, have signed a joint letter asking President Klaus Iohannis to start consultations with the civil society and the political parties, as a result of the Constitutional Court decision. The consultations should focus not only on the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor but on the anticorruption fight in general.

“As a result of the Constitutional Court decision in dossier no.589E/2018, through which 6 CCR judges gave the Justice Minister discretionary prerogatives concerning the dismissal from office of magistrates holding leadership offices, and imposed on the Romanian President the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor, the signatory organisations are asking you to hold public consultations with both civil society organisations and political parties and professional organisations from the judicial system, that would precede and help formulate the decisions and actions subsequent to the CCR decision. These must not be limited to the dispute surrounding the request to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor but must also concern the future of the anticorruption fight, the independence of the judiciary, the observance of the rule of law, and the role of the Constitutional Court,” reads the letter sent to the President.

The 37 civic groups and organisations consider that the CCR decision is contrary to the law, to constitutional provisions, and to the obligations undertaken through the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and the EU Treaty, and it undermines the prerogatives of other branches of government.

“The decision sends us back, with ill intention, to the moment prior to EU accession, when the judiciary was completely a slave to the political power, the cases were opened or closed during party meetings, on political orders, and the prosecutors were investigated and kicked out of the magistracy if they investigated political corruption. We believe, at the same time, that the CCR is and must remain a fundamental institution in the constitutional architecture of the Romanian state, that it is an institution that must be respected, even though the actions of some CCR members who have used the institution for political interests or personal feuds have momentarily diminished the prestige and professionalism of the Court,” the mentioned document reads.

The letter sent to the President is signed by 37 civic groups: #ActivAG Piteşti, Acţiunea Civică Galaţi, Asociaţia Aradul Civic, Asociaţia România Vie, Corupţia Ucide, Diaspora Franţa solidară cu România, Evident Deva, Geeks for Democracy, Grupul civic #insist, Grupul pentru Dialog Social, #Iaşulnutace, Iniţiativa Craiova, Iniţiativa Timişoara, Iniţiativa România, Mureşul Civic, Noul Orizont Valencia, Oradea Civică, Organizatia Eu Ro Aleg 2.0, Procivic Baia Mare, #Reset, #Rezist Birmingham WMW, #Rezist Constanţa, #Rezist Dublin, #Rezist Liguria, #Rezist Lyon, #Rezist Milan, #Rezist Munich, #Rezist Râmnicu Vâlcea, #Rezist Toronto, #Rezist Brussels, #REZISTENŢA, Ştafeta Steagului Uniunii Europene, Timişoara Civică, Umbrela Anticorupţie Cluj, #Văvedem din Bucureşti, Vă Vedem din Sibiu and VeDem Just – Voci pentru Democraţie şi Justiţie.

 

Dragnea: President should do what results from his prerogatives

 

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, when asked whether he will take part in the consultations at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, consultations that several NGOs have asked for, that he is not telling the Head of State what to do but he encourages him instead to do what results from his constitutional prerogatives.

“I’m not telling the President to do what he is told. I’m telling him to do what he must, what results from the constitutional prerogatives, as guarantor of the observance of the Constitution,” Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday.

 

Divergent opinions in PSD on impeaching Iohannis if he does not dismiss Laura Kovesi

 

House lawmaker Ioan Dirzu (PSD) claims he will be the first to collect signatures for the impeachment of President Klaus Iohannis, in case the latter disregards the Constitutional Court’s decision.

Several organisations are asking the Presidency to organise consultations with civil society and political parties.

Dirzu pointed out in a communique remitted on Sunday evening that the Romanian President is “the guarantor of the observance of the Constitution and of the country’s laws” so “he has no other option but to dismiss Laura Codruta Kovesi, the still incumbent DNA Chief Prosecutor.”

“If a fight against corruption, not a system of privileges, is really desired in Romania, we must all understand that the DNA does not mean one person. If the DNA means one person, then the DNA is not a credible institution and we have a power monopoly problem. I am sure the Romanian President will observe the Constitution and will not allow himself tricked by the anarchists from PNL and USR, who instigate the non-observance of CCR [Constitutional Court of Romania] decisions,” Dirzu wrote.

According to the House lawmaker, Iohannis is guilty of infringement of the Constitution also for not designating a candidate for the office of Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) for well over 2 years.

“The Romanian President has not exercised his prerogative to designate a candidate for the helm of SIE, within reasonable time, placing Parliament in the objective impossibility of appointing a civilian director. I take this opportunity to ask the Speakers of the two Chambers of Parliament to notify the Constitutional Court of Romania of the existence of a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature between the President and Parliament,” reads the press release signed by the President of PSD Alba.

In the end, Ioan Dirzu announces he will be the first to collect signatures for the impeachment of the President in case the latter fails to observe the CCR decision or does not immediately designate a civilian director of SIE.

“This is not the first juridical conflict of a constitutional nature lost by the President, so we can say he is already a repeat offender. At present, there are all reasons of a constitutional nature for the impeachment of the Romanian President. It depends on him how he sees fit to exercise his prerogatives within the constitutional framework,” Dirzu pointed out.

 

Buzatu: If the President does not observe constitutional order, we have no choice, we must trigger the impeachment procedure

 

PSD Vaslui President Dumitru Buzatu stated on Monday that the impeachment procedures should be triggered if the Head of State does not observe the constitutional order.

“If he doesn’t observe the Constitution [the impeachment procedures should start – editor’s note]. I believe it’s not about the PSD’s opinion; if the President of a country, in this case Romania, does not observe the Constitution, the citizens must have a unanimous opinion that such a President must be impeached. I’m one of the backers of this idea. If the President insists on not observing the constitutional order, then we have no other option, we must trigger this procedure,” Buzatu stated at the Palace of Parliament when asked whether the impeachment procedure should be triggered if President Klaus Iohannis disregards the CCR decision on the dismissal of the DNA Chief Prosecutor.

Buzatu said he believes it is unlikely for President Iohannis not to observe the CCR decision.

 

Robert Negoita: I consider it a wrong idea to impeach the President

 

PSD Vice President Robert Negoita stated on Monday that triggering an impeachment procedure if President Klaus Iohannis does not dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor would be “a wrong idea,” but claimed that the current regulations should be changed.

“I consider it a wrong idea to impeach the President over this issue. Based on current regulations, regardless of whom we’d put there, the risk of abuse is very high, the temptation to abuse is very high. The regulations must be done in Parliament, where we hold the majority. The fact that this is not happening is something that doesn’t please me very much. (…) I strongly militate for a Romania and to normalise Romania. When the arguments are in a direction and the institutions are likewise in a direction, I believe everyone will eventually comply,” Robert Negoita stated, Mediafax informs.

PSD Cluj President and House lawmaker Horia Nasra shares that opinion.

“I don’t believe impeaching President Iohannis is a timely solution. The governance is our priority,” Horia Nasra said.

 

Dragnea: I’ve seen a lot of downright nonsenses in the public space, according to which CCR decisions shouldn’t be respected. It seems a serious thing that these people seem to support the idea of a dictatorship in Romania, democracy is bothering them

 

Asked if he joins the idea to suspend the head of state, which is already supported by county leaders, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea stated that the party will act accordingly, depending on what the President will do, but this will happen after the Constitutional Court’s decision on the conflict between the Government and the President, by which Laura Codruta Kovesi’s dismissal from the position of the DNA Chief-Prosecutor was requested, will be published. Dragnea added that regarding this issue, he saw “a lot of downright nonsenses” in the public space, from the referendum for justice to the fact tha this decision of CCR shouldn’t be respected. “It seems a serious thing that these people seem to support the idea of a dictatorship in Romania” Dragnea also said.

“We don’t have a decision of the Constitutional Court until now. We have a release, when the decision will be published in the Official Journal, we will wait and see what the President does and we will act accordingly. I can tell you that we will not agree with somebody, anybody, who places himself above the law or the Constitution” the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, when asked if he joins the proposal made by his party colleagues on suspending the President.

He said that besides this proposal, he also saw “a lot of downright nonsenses” such as the “screwy” idea of the former technocrat PM Dacian Ciolos to organize a referendum for justice, as well as the fact that this decision of CCR shouldn’t be respected. Dragnea mentioned that these people seem to support the idea of a dictatorship in Romania.

“Besides this proposal made by our well positioned colleagues, I’ve also seen many other downright nonsenses. For instance, Mr. Ciolos’s (e.n. – Dacian Ciolos) screwy idea to organize a referendum for justice. The denouncer on duty says that CCR decisions are not binding on the President.  It seems a serious thing to me that these people have a behavior as if they support the idea of a dictatorship in Romania. When they say that CCR decisions shouldn’t be respected, of course democracy is bothering them” Dragnea added.

 

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