POLITICS

Parliament to have stricter rules for visitors and journalists after Wednesday’s protest

Cameramen will no longer be able to get close to parliamentarians

 

As a result of Wednesday’s protest, Parliament will have stricter rules for visitors and journalists, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced after the Joint Standing Bureaus meeting.

Tariceanu was very angry over what happened on Wednesday in Parliament, stating that there are civil servants who probably did not do their job.

Several Resist protesters were on Parliament’s hallways on Wednesday, during Premier Viorica Dancila’s speech at the joint plenary meeting, shouting “Justice, not corruption!”, “Nest of thieves and mafiosos,” “Dragnea, don’t forget, this is not your country.” The protesters sat down so as not to be taken away by security.

Because of the Resist protesters’ behaviour on the hallways of Parliament, House Speaker Liviu Dragnea and Premier Viorica Dancila left the plenary meeting hall escorted by security agents who shielded them from protesters. Dragnea did not want to discuss with journalists either, and Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that the protest is a fascist demonstration, pointing out that “that’s how fascism and totalitarianism started in Europe.”

On Thursday, Tariceanu pointed out there will be stricter rules for both visitors and journalists, so that cameramen would no longer be able to get close to parliamentarians.

He said the general secretariats of the two Chambers were tasked with proposing measures, together with the judiciary committees.

“What happened yesterday in Parliament proves to us that the USR – and maybe the PNL too, to a variable or smaller extent – is trying to transform Parliament into a sort of Matache Square. I believe one of the members of Parliament came and informed you that an attempt is being made to transform it [Parliament] into an army base. Well, I want to tell you that what is happening at the European Parliament is the benchmark that one of our colleagues – House lawmaker Ciolacu – proposed that we should consider when devising the proposed modifications to the regulations and to the rules we have in Parliament. No more, no less. If the European Parliament does not have civilised rules, if there is no possibility for the democratic expression of parliamentarians, then I do not know what to say anymore. We only intend to return to normality and not to allow [things] to degenerate into physical violence, into aggressions in Parliament, the likes of those I was subjected to yesterday at the hands of the USR, of the protesters who were brought here and even of some of those who are probably holding video cameras here today,” the ALDE leader explained.

He claimed that Wednesday’s protest in Parliament was like rugby and stated that he has not seen something like it in Parliament in 26 years.

“What happened was a sort of rugby maul involving all sorts of persons. I have been in Parliament for 26 years and what happened to me yesterday never happened before,” he added.

When a journalist wanted to ask him a question, Tariceanu said: “Please allow me to speak. If you are behaving like this, I suspect you are one of the persons who were just as “polite” and “civilised” yesterday.”

Tariceanu also stated that he wants to modify Parliament’s regulations in line with the European Parliament’s model, and claimed that no demonstration, of any nature, should take place within Parliament.

“As I said, based on the proposals we will receive, and based on the good practices of the European Parliament or of other democratic parliaments, we will establish them in the Parliament of Romania too. Parliament shouldn’t be confused, no public demonstrations are staged [here], whether peaceful or non-peaceful. Yesterday we saw that the practice gradually introduced by the USR in one year and a half is expanding. We had in store all kinds of novelties of the PRM type. You recall, after PRM’s departure a somewhat civilised atmosphere took root in Parliament. Now, PRM’s place has been taken by the USR. My colleagues [and I], we disagree with this kind of demonstrations,” Tariceanu added.

The Senate Speaker said that there will be stricter rules for cameramen too, because they should no longer shove politicians to force them to make statements.

“In the end, there will also have to be certain rules in what concerns you, meaning that cameras can stand over there, I don’t believe all cameramen must push us with their cameras to force us to make statements,” he added.

 

Iordache: What happened is inadmissible. I don’t believe we are under siege so as to be unable to work in a normal meeting; we’ll discuss today whether regulations must be modified

 

House lawmaker Florin Iordache (PSD), chairman of the special committee on judicial laws, stated on Thursday, referring to the protest staged on Wednesday on Parliament’s hallways, that what happened is inadmissible and the issue will be discussed during the joint standing bureaus meeting. He pointed out he believes parliamentarians are not under siege so as to be unable to work normally in meetings. He said the regulations must be modified.

“We will discuss this within the [Joint] Standing Bureau. What happened in Parliament is inadmissible. It’s as if a group of citizens dissatisfied with your television channel’s policy were to enter your station and disrupt your activity. We will undoubtedly discuss today in Parliament, we will raise this issue, I believe it is abnormal the activity of a Parliament… I don’t believe we are under siege so as to be able [sic] to work in a normal meeting. We will also have other votes that can be challenged, but I find it normal for us to have a dialogue. What happened in Parliament did not feel like dialogue. Today we will discuss whether the regulations must be modified, if we must modify the statute, if we need to modify the way the activity takes place,” House lawmaker Florin Iordache (PSD) said.

 

Tomac walks out of JSB meeting: Tariceanu wants to turn Parliament into an army base. This shows the ruling power’s dictatorial attitude

 

On Thursday, Popular Movement Party (PMP) leader Eugen Tomac walked out of the Joint Standing Bureaus (JSB) meeting, accusing Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu of seeking to transform Parliament into an army base, and saying that this shows the ruling power’s dictatorial attitude.

“Mr Tariceanu wants the JSB to task the General Secretariat to take extremely severe measures in what concerns access to the institution. (…) We need a free institution, I don’t want it to turn into an army base,” Tomac stated.

The PMP leader said that the Senate Speaker is asking for “excessive measures which show the dictatorial attitude of the current ruling power.”

 

Turcan: PSD-ALDE want to turn Parliament into a fortress

 

PNL First Vice President and House lawmaker Raluca Turcan stated on Thursday, referring to the modification of the rules regarding access in the Palace of Parliament, that PSD-ALDE have turned to force and intimidation and want to transform the institution into a fortress.

“The current ruling power has turned to force and intimidation. They started with the limiting of parliamentary debates, with lack of transparency in the adoption of important bills, and have ended up detaining free people who protest in the street and most likely limiting the presence of journalists. Today we witnessed a debate that has no connection with reality. It is very likely we would end up seeing Parliament turned into a fortress in which you, the representatives of the press, would be kept far from the noble presence of the ruling power’s representatives, and people would have access in Parliament only with the endorsement of those who now rule the PSD-ALDE majority. It is awful and PNL has demanded that the fundamental rights and freedoms be respected, because otherwise we end up infringing upon the main principle of EU accession, the political principle of observing these rights,” Raluca Turcan stated in Parliament.

 

 

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