Parliament repeats vote on referendum bill, repeals recommendations to President Iohannis

Parliament on Wednesday repeated a vote on a bill concerning President Klaus Iohannis’ request for a national consultative referendum on issues of national concern, eliminating some initial recommendations to the head of state.

There were 218 yeas, 11 nays and three abstentions for the new text of the bill.

The vote was repeated at the request of Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Florin Iordache.

“To conclude this debate, I was the one who said on behalf of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) group that we will not oppose but fully support the President’s request. Given these circumstances, I understand the good faith and the excessive zeal of my colleagues in the Judiciary Committee who added the phrase regarding Law 3 and the Constitutional Court (CCR) rulings. Given these circumstances, dear colleagues, I would like you to put to the vote repealing the additions to this article that merely reproduce the court’s decisions and the provisions of the Venice Commission … If the president wishes to put up a referendum for vote, he should take full responsibility. It will be a good thing if this referendum meets the attendance conditions and is adopted, but if the validation conditions of the referendum are not met and the referendum fails, that will be sole responsibility of the president,” Iordache said.

Initially, Parliament on Wednesday passed, 263 to 9 and one abstention, a bill on the request of President Klaus Iohannis for holding a national consultative referendum on issues of national interest on May 26 that includes several recommendations to the head of state.

Leaders of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Save Romania Union (USR) protested against the proposed bill. They have called for the report of the legal committees to be redone, arguing that the report is “a fake”.

“Parliament is hereby favourably approving the initiation by the President of Romania of a national consultative referendum on the following issues of national interest: the prohibition of amnesty and pardon for corruption offences and the prohibition of the adoption by the government of its emergency ordinance in the area of criminal offences, punishments and judicial organisation correlated with the right of other constitutional authorities to notify the Constitutional Court (CCR) directly about ordinances,” according to the bill.

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