President Klaus Iohannis said Tuesday that he is “almost decided” to convene a national referendum on May 26 at the same time with the elections to the European Parliament.
“We are already working hard on this, we are analyzing the data, the alternatives, the legal part. I am almost determined to convene a referendum on May 26, when we have elections to the European Parliament. Allow me some leeway, due to the need for a thorough analysis, to a thorough discussion, because it is not that I want to do a referendum on something, if I do a referendum then I want to have partners not only the parties, perhaps more from the Opposition, the civil society, Romanians who want to give a clear signal, and for this I can tell you that, for a week now, we have been working very intensely. I asked my team to propose tomorrow – the day after tomorrow a draft agenda, which will certainly involve a meeting with a few very resolute representatives of the civil society,” the head of state said at the debate “President or citizen / politician and civil society”, organized at the International Documentary Film and Human Rights Festival by One World Romania.
Klaus Iohannis said that the discussion on the referendum is not back by accident.
“There has been much talk about the referendum and I have said on several occasions that things have to be evaluated from many points of view. The desire is one, being able is another. I did not want to convene a referendum just to be be in the make-do business and for it not to pass because people do not participate in it or there is not enough interest.The discussion is back and not by chance.We received not many weeks now a law for promulgation that clarifies certain legal issues and that issues that belong to the elections to the European Parliament and other elections in which PSD [Social Democratic Party, major at rule, ed.n.] representatives introduced a paragraph – “nothing can be organized at the same time with the European Parliament elections,” no elections, no referendum. It looked very suspicious to me so that I challenged with the CCR [Constitutional Court of Romania, ed.n.] having something in my mind as to what might follow. CCR agreed with me. That provision is unconstitutional and, as such, I began to analyze with my Cotroceni team what it would be like if I convened a referendum exactly on the election date. At first there were relatively few enthusiasts for this idea, that is, I and two or three others, but I managed to convince more because we have to think this issue through very well,” the president explained.
The head of state said that “a referendum cannot produce a law” and that he would like the nation to express itself in this ballot.
PSD – accident of democracy; remedy – going to vote
He also said on Tuesday that the ruling Social Democratic party (PSD) is “an accident of democracy”, pointing out that the “remedy” is the voters’ turnout.
“God forbid a zero point! I believe that we are at a very important stage in consolidating what we have gained. The fact that we reached politically this democratic accident, with a Government called proxy, with a party that purely won some elections and thinks it owns Romania, shows that we relaxed too fast or we thought that politics does not concern us. History showed us every time that it concerns us. Every time we had the impression that it does not concern us we ended up with a dictatorship or something similar. The remedy is extremely simple – just going to vote. This accident of democracy, which is the current PSD government and the majority controlled by the PSD, was not possible because a huge number of people went to vote for PSD. No! It was voted by all those who voted for PSD in 2014 and 2012. The big difference was that the others did not go, for various reasons. This accident of democracy is due less to PSD then and more to the absenteeism in the elections,” the head of state said at the debate “President or citizen/politician and civil society”, organized by One World Romania within the International Documentary Film Festival and Human Rights.
In his opinion, the absence from the vote “makes someone else decide in our place”.
“We do not spend more than an hour to vote (…). It is enough to vote. It does not work otherwise. Absence from voting makes someone else decide in our place,” Iohannis said.
The head of state argued that the way in which the current majority uses power is “eminently primitive, to take power for oneself.”
“Democracy requires that you take power for citizens,” added Iohannis.