The compliance report released by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) on Tuesday is “another red card” to the ruling coalition of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday.
He added that the report was similar to a report on Romania’s progress under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
“The PSD-ALDE ignores all these warnings that show the direction they are steering Romania to is the wrong track,” said Iohannis.
Iohannis on Section for Investigation of Magistrates: Gov’t, to come with initiative to correct this abnormality
President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday asked the Executive to “immediately” come up with an initiative “to correct” the situation related to the Special Section for the Investigation of Magistrates, which he labeled “an abnormality.”
“The Government should immediately come up with a legislative initiative to correct this abnormality,” he said at Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
Asked what the next step should be in the context in which the GRECO experts insist that the said Section be disbanded, being considered an abnormality, Iohannis affirmed he shares the same view.
“I am of the same opinion, I have said it and I repeat it. But not through emergency ordinance, but by law. Everyone understood very well that this section is an abnormality, there is no need for it to exist. Consequently, the Government should urgently come up with a legislative initiative to correct this abnormality and other issues in the field. Of course, the debate will take place in Parliament and the decision belongs to Parliament and not the Government, but the initiative has to be drafted within the Government,” added the head of state.
Klaus Iohannis called on the Social Democratic Party (PSD), “on behalf of the Romanians,” “to come to its sense” and correct the legislation: “PSD should come to its senses and correct the legislation that they themselves have ruined.”
Asked to comment on the dispute between the Minister of Justice and the president of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) on the appointment of Adina Florea at the helm of the said Section, the president said, “I think things will eventually work out. Both ladies are in the CSM, they can clarify their issues there.”
Referendum to amend constitution better be organised with presidential election
The referendum on amending the constitution should be organised with the first or second round of the presidential elections, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday.
Asked at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace when it would be good for a referendum to amend the constitution to be held, Iohannis said: “In my opinion, the referendum should be organised either with the first round of presidential election or with the run-off.”
He added that there is no recommendation from the Venice Commission to hold another election with the presidential election.
“Of course, some politicians who have boycotted this referendum were quick to tell us that there is a recommendation from the Venice Commission not to organise another plebiscite at the same time with the elections. I would like to inform the public that such recommendation does not exist. There is no recommendation from the Venice Commission to avoid overlapping. So we have no problem organising the referendum with the presidential election. As a footnote it is very curious that some politicians who are very dissatisfied that GRECO and the Venice Commission lecture them use the argument that the Venice Commission has told us not to hold a referendum and an election simultaneously. That is a sad example of duplicity with Romanian politicians,” said Iohannis.
“I support Kovesi, it is known fact in Europe”
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at Cotroceni Presidential Palace that he has supported “from the outset” Laura Codruta Kovesi (former chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, ed.n.) in the race for the post of EU Chief Prosecutor and said this is a known fact in Europe.
“I have supported Mrs Kovesi from the outset, and I have told this to Mrs. Kovesi and to several relevant European policy leaders. So this is a known fact in Europe, that I support Mrs Kovesi,” the president pointed out.
He said that “chances are good, but there is no guarantee” for Laura Codruta Kovesi to be elected as EU Chief Prosecutor.
“I hope that this position can be allocated to Ms Kovesi. It would be a very good result that I want,” Iohannis said.
“I expect at least ministers indicated by me – Interior, Foreign Affairs – be changed”
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday at Cotroceni Presidential Palace that he expects the Interior Minister, Carmen Dan and Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu to be replaced at the Government’s reshuffle, as the head of state requested after the 26 May elections.
Asked if the changes in the Executive are timely, he replied: “They are certainly timely and I honestly expect for at least two ministers that I indicated Interior and Foreign Affairs [ministers], to be changed.”
At the same time, the head of state ruled out the option of a negotiation with the Social Democratic Party concerning the reshuffle.
“I am not willing to negotiate anything with the PSD, but obviously without me there can be no reshuffle, so I expect them to come up with the proposals,” Iohannis said.