Senate President and Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Thursday that he would win if he ran for the presidential elections in November, but mentioned that a decision in this regard will be made together with the Social-Democrat partners after the elections to the European Parliament.
“I will win if I run for the office. The candidacy has not been decided yet. We decided with the PSD partners [the Social Democratic Party] to tackle this topic after the elections to the European Parliament. We will assess who has the best chances to defeat Klaus Iohannis in the autumn elections. It’s a tough decision, I am ready for something like this. We will decide and determine something later, but it won’t take long, there are approximately two months until this decision is to be made,” Tariceanu told Antena 3 private broadcaster.
Tariceanu on Penal Codes: JusMin is the key factor. He will probably issue a GEO
He also stated on Thursday that Justice Minister Tudorel Toader would probably issue a government emergency ordinance (GEO) amending the Penal Codes, Toader being “the key factor” in the procedure to set the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code articles in line with Constitutional Court (CCR) decisions.
“I can tell you what I know. It’s no secret, there is a series of Constitutional Court decisions, dating back – I believe – to over two years ago or more, which concern a series of articles from the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code, which are unconstitutional and must be set in line with the Constitutional Court’s decisions. The Justice Minister is the one who is – I would say – the key factor in this procedure and, of course, he is probably considering drafting an emergency ordinance on these topics, just like on others, I’m talking about the European directives which must be transposed, and which are running late. If I’m not mistaken, because of the delay in transposing these European directives, which requires an emergency ordinance, because Parliament’s legislative process is extremely lengthy, as you know, I believe we are also paying penalties for these delays,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated at the Palace of Parliament.
Asked whether there is a timetable for the adoption of emergency ordinances amending the Penal Codes, Tariceanu said: “Please ask the Government; Parliament is not responsible for the Government’s timetable. The minister is subordinated to the Prime Minister, not to Parliament; we exercise parliamentary oversight of the Government, but we are not offered the Government’s order of business.”
In addition, Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Thursday that the letter that the 12 embassies have sent to the Romanian Government is completely inappropriate and that his impression is that they have formed a “syndicate of embassies.”
“Completely inappropriate; I have the feeling they have formed a syndicate of embassies. I believe the Prime Minister’s response was the appropriate one, and I believe that if the ambassadors have certain things they want to be informed about they can use the diplomatic means, namely the Foreign Ministry,” Tariceanu said when asked for his opinion on the letter of the 12 embassies that have expressed their concerns about the adoption of an ordinance on the judicial system.
Referring to the discontent expressed by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, Tariceanu stated that he does not see the reasons for their concern.
“Yes, of course, I cannot help but keep abreast of these statements. The problem I see is the following: I would like a concrete mention made, because neither Tajani nor Timmermans talk concretely about what the elements are, what the decisions that represent backsteps that generate this concern of theirs are. If their concern is generated by the pieces of news in the press, by all the comments, all the rumours, then, of course, the problem is put differently. I believe they can have all the necessary information from Romanian authorities, from the Government, from the team that was set up at the level of the Prime Minister for the discussion on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, so that, on its basis, they could make an objective analysis instead of following press headlines,” Tariceanu concluded.
“European officials’ statements fall under the campaign for elections to the EP”
Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Wednesday evening, when referring to the statements of some European officials on the justice issue, that they fall under the electoral campaign for the elections to the European Parliament and they cannot provide any concrete evidence regarding what the government has done wrong.
“The European officials are not in the position, are not able, in this regard, to provide a single concrete element, on what the government did wrong. They are talking about some intentions to approve some ordinances which would have certain consequences. I haven’t seen the draft ordinance, I don’t know if they are able to define the government’s intentions. Now, I very well know that this is not about granting impunity for anybody. But it is a serious situation, which was debated with the CCR [the Constitutional Court of Romania] that established that those five-judge panels that ruled different sentences in Romania were illegally established. (…) The second thing I want to point out about these statements is that they all fall under the electoral campaign for the elections to the European Parliament. Therefore, our colleagues of the EP [the European Parliament] found a topic to brag about in front of their own audience, look how vigilant we are and how we take action regarding the independence of justice in Romania,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu told Romania TV private television station.
In his view, the double standard is enforced when European officials express their concern regarding Romania’s justice and the messages are addressed in view of influencing the decisions in justice.
“I am concerned, too, that justice in Romania work independently. Meantime, the government doesn’t intervene in the functioning of justice in Romania, Parliament doesn’t intervene in the functioning of justice in Romania, but, instead, I see that we receive from the EC [the European Commission] or from the EP various messages and words which violate or we are told: you intervene in justice so that the judiciary control measures imposed on Mrs Kovesi be lifted. It is obviously a double standard that I do not even understand, but which probably has an explanation in (…) near the elections to the EP. Discussions are carried out in a double standard, depending on the interests. It seems that Mrs Kovesi is preferred by some of the MEPs who want to impose us this choice, too,” Tariceanu stated.