On Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis started his consultations with the parliamentary parties on the issue of enacting the May 26 referendum on the judiciary.
The President met the delegation of the National Liberal Party (PNL) at 12.30 p.m., the leaders of Save Romania Union (USR) at 2 p.m., and the representatives of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) at 3 p.m.
The rest of the parties, namely the People’s Movement Party (PMP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Pro Romania, the national minorities and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), will meet the President for consultations on Wednesday.
“I want to work with a wide parliamentary majority”
Before the consultations, President Iohannis stated that he wants to work with a wide parliamentary majority, being optimistic that it can be formed. In his opinion, an ample amending of the Constitution is not desirable now, and he considers that the referendum on the amending of the Constitution should overlap one of the upcoming elections – the presidential, local or parliamentary elections.
The President pointed out that he will discuss with the parties the two topics that have resulted from the May 26 referendum: banning the amnestying and pardoning of the corrupt and banning the Government from issuing emergency ordinances in the field of judicial laws and criminal policy. He said that a stipulation allowing institutions other than the Ombudsman to constitutionally challenge emergency ordinances must also be introduced.
“And we were able to see even yesterday how good it would have been had this manner of appeal existed, because the PSD, which shamefully lost these parliamentary elections, was unable to find a better response to this result than to once again start issuing – you guessed it – emergency ordinances. And not in any field but precisely in the field of elections, more precisely of local elections for the chairmen of county councils. A fundamentally mistaken approach on the part of the PSD. After the slap that they received from voters, the PSD should have abstained from issuing any emergency ordinance,” Klaus Iohannis added.
He said that aside from the two topics, the consultations will also tackle issues regarding the political consequences of the referendum and European Parliament elections.
“It’s obvious that we must resume the discussion on the rule of law in Romania, the discussion on improving the judicial laws, which were adopted despite ample opposition from the President, the parliamentary Opposition, the relevant associations. On the other hand, it’s clear that this vote in the European Parliament elections, which drastically censured the PSD’s anti-European discourse, is a clear vote for the European road, for Romania’s deeper integration in the EU, and this issue must be discussed during the consultations,” the President added.
Klaus Iohannis said that he intends to summon the parties and to discuss for as long as necessary in order to fully implement the will of the Romanians.
The President pointed out that he invited the parties to real consultations, not to consultations for the sake of appearances.
“I want to work together with a wide parliamentary majority that would have understood these issues and is willing to put them into practice. I believe a majority can be formed because the parties have understood the importance of the vote in the referendum. I’m optimistic, and if it doesn’t happen immediately the citizens still have at their disposal three lessons for the PSD: the presidential, local and parliamentary elections,” the President stated.
In his opinion, “it’s not desirable to stake on an ample amending of the Constitution with this parliamentary majority.”
The President pointed out that the referendum on amending the Constitution in order to implement the results of the May 26 referendum should be organised as fast as possible.
“It would be strange to say the least to hold the referendum in-between elections, because I don’t believe Romanians would like to come to the polls four times. (…) It’s not mandatory for us to come up with the referendum during the presidential elections, we can come up with it during the local or even parliamentary elections,” the Head of State pointed out.
Asked about the Senate’s vote to reject the lifting of Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s immunity, the President said that it is “pathetic and shows the PSD-ALDE’s attitude of profound contempt for the will of Romanians.”
“Basically, with this vote to defend Tariceanu before prosecutors, PSD and ALDE have thrown off their mask. Essentially, PSD and ALDE haven’t understood anything from what the Romanians told them at the polls. They carried on as they were accustomed doing and formed a wall around Tariceanu, so that the great value of Romanian politics wouldn’t be touched by prosecutors. Pathetic, pathetic, shameful,” Iohannis added.
He said that in the upcoming days he will take a decision on the Government reshuffle proposals he has received from the Premier.
Orban: PNL upholds all initiatives to revise Constitution and reopen debates on Justice laws
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated at Cotroceni, after consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that the Liberals support all of the President’s demarches to transpose the results of the referendum. Orban deemed that the referendum on amending the Constitution should take place simultaneously with the presidential elections.
“The position expressed by us is very simple. The will of the citizens, manifested in the referendum convened by the President of Romania, a referendum validated with an extremely high score, is a law for us and the PNL supports all the demarches of President Klaus Iohannis to translate into fact the will expressed by the citizens at the referendum. We have also addressed the subject of legislation in the field of Justice, we clearly support the idea of reopening the public debates in order to generate a European legislation in the field of Justice, which is in line with the CVM recommendations, which takes into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the Anti-corruption States Group. The PNL will support all initiatives to revise the Constitution and any other initiatives needed to translate into fact the will expressed by citizens and to ensure that the will of the citizens which was very strongly heard within this referendum namely that Romania must be led by honest, faithful, law-abiding people, that this will be translated into reality,” Orban stated.
The PNL leader pointed out that “reaching the point of a referendum [taking place] along with presidential elections would be a good solution, because it’s also better, more appropriate, and cheaper.”
On the other hand, Ludovic Orban pointed out that the text of the no-confidence motion will be ready very soon and the motion will be tabled before the end of the parliamentary session.
He added that the PNL does not support having the county council chairmen elected via direct elections.
Asked for his comment on the fact that this option is allegedly backed by some Liberal county council chairmen, Ludovic Orban said: “It’s shameful for Oprisan to make use of an internal consultation carried out within the Union of County Councils. (…) The PNL’s official position is the one expressed by me. Through this GEO, the Government has shown that it continues to be the prisoner of red bailiffs. (…) We will ask the Ombudsman to challenge this ordinance at the CCR.”
The PNL delegation consisted of party president Ludovic Orban, House lawmakers Raluca Turcan, Florin Roman and Ion Stefan, and PNL Bistrita President Ioan Turc.
USR leader told Klaus Iohannis that the Opposition will file the no-confidence motion next week
USR delegation headed by Dan Barna was the second after PNL, attending the consultations held at Cotroceni with President Klaus Iohannis on transposing the referendum on justice into the legislation.
The delegation consisted of Dan Barna, George Dirca, Silviu Dehelan, Ionut Mosteanu and Cristina Pruna.
At the end of the discussions, USR Chairman Dan Barna announced that he informed President Klaus Iohannis, during the consultations that took place at Cotroceni, that the no-confidence motion will most likely be filed next week. The USR delegation also discussed with the head of state about the scenarios after the motion, related to the governing.
“We have tried to analyze also the possible calendar related to the no-confidence motion, which the Opposition will most likely file next week, and we have also discussed about scenarios considered in order to pass the motion. If the motion passes, we’ll discuss about an interim Government or a new Government. Early elections after the presidential elections are a necessity, and that’s what I told the President, because otherwise we would remain captives of a parliamentary majority that no longer works in Romania. I informed him that we will support any variant of a non-PSD Government. We will also support the election of the mayors in two rounds of voting and the repeal of GEO 114”, Dan Barna stated at Cotroceni on Tuesday.
Speaking about the discussions on the referendum, he added that USR’s initiative “Without criminals in public positions” should be also transposed into the Constitution, with the review on the Fundamental Law.
“We have also presented the points of view of USR and USR-PLUS Alliance. We believe that the constitutional reform should be a little bit larger, but it will be anyway focused on reducing GEO. The President agreed that the initiative ‘Without criminals in public positions’ must be included in this review, since CCR admitted it. Therefore, it is a legitimate, moral and legal initiative. We will continue to have the same firm perspective on respecting the rule of law and we will do our best to align the Laws on Justice with the recommendations of the Venice Commission”, Barna concluded.
UDMR, third party to hold consultations with Klaus Iohannis
UDMR was the third party whose representatives met President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace for consultations on the implementation of the referendum. The UDMR delegation that took part in the consultations at Cotroceni consisted of five members – party whips and parliamentarians – and was led by UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor.
In fact, Kelemen Hunor had stated for MEDIAFAX on Monday that during the consultations the UDMR would support the need for a new Constitution that would stipulate the elimination of emergency ordinances so that Parliament’s credibility would be restored.
Kelemen Hunor: UDMR will vote on no-confidence motion alongside Opposition, but there won’t be a parliamentary majority
Following his consultations with Klaus Iohannis at Cotroceni, UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor stated that the parliamentary majority that the Opposition has calculated by including the support of his party does not exist at this moment so as to pass a no-confidence motion against the Government. He said that the UDMR will support the motion.
“We haven’t discussed this scenario (the adoption of a no-confidence motion – e.n.). A no-confidence motion is welcome at any time. I don’t deny having had talks with the PNL and USR this week. I’ve engaged in maths with them. There aren’t 233 votes, not even with us. This shouldn’t matter. Last evening, we sat down and did the calculations, and there is no majority,” Kelemen Hunor stated on Tuesday.
At the same time, the UDMR leader stated that UDMR’s parliamentarians will support a no-confidence motion against the Government and will consult each other on the topic of PNL’s motion.
“When there is a text, as my colleagues from the PNL promised, they will send it to us and to the USR and we will probably propose some text coming in addition to theirs. We are prepared to support a no-confidence motion. We have no problem,” Kelemen Hunor added.
UDMR’s Kelemen calls mistake ordinance on electing county council chairs, vows no support
National chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Kelemen Hunor said on Tuesday the government emergency ordinance on the election of county council chairs under a single-member poll system is “a mistake”, and UDMR does not support such change, and it will take a stand against it when it comes to Parliament.
“It is a mistake. We did not support, we do not support it. When it reaches Parliament we will vote against it. It is not okay,” Kelemen Hunor said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace after UDMR consultations with President Klaus Iohannis when asked about the emergency ordinance.
The government passed on Monday an emergency ordinance stipulating the election of the county council chairs by voters in a direct election.
PM Dancila to lead the PSD delegation to participate in the Wednesday consultations with President Iohannis
Premier Viorica Dancila will lead the PSD delegation that will take part, on Wednesday, in the consultations that President Klaus Iohannis has scheduled in order to transpose into legislation the result of the May 26 referendum on the judiciary.
“On Wednesday, 5 June 2019, starting at 3 p.m., representing the Social Democratic Party, the following delegation will take part in the consultations with parliamentary parties at the Cotroceni Palace: Viorica Dancila, acting PSD President and Romanian Premier; Paul Stanescu, acting PSD Executive President; Marcel Ciolacu, House Speaker; Mihai Fifor, Chairman of PSD’s National Council; Eugen Teodorovici, Finance Minister,” the Social Democrats point out in a press release.