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April 15, 2021

Tariceanu accuses Iohannis of intention to turn referendum into “most terrible political weapon”

Senate President Calin Popoescu-Tariceanu accused President Klaus Iohannis of intending to turn the consultative referendum into “the most terrible political weapon” against all those who have different opinions.

“The consultative referendum mechanism is maintained only to provide the possibility to learn, from time to time, rather than through surveys, what is the citizens’ vision on certain issues and it’s good it is like that. Klaus Iohannis goes much further, he wants to turn an instrument which is entirely at his disposal in the most terrible political weapon against all those who have different opinions. Klaus Iohannis found the miracle-method through which the citizens’ will expressed in the voting of the Constitution or in the free parliamentary elections, the will of Parliament or the Constitutional Court can be breached through mass manipulations and crass violations of the spirit of the law,” Tariceanu wrote on Tuesday on his Facebook page.

In his view, President Klaus Iohannis’s statement saying that it is up to the parliamentary parties to find the most appropriate form under which to transpose the citizens’ option expressed at the referendum into the legislation, represents “an extremely firm and serious message.”

“In the mandate of the previous president, Romania was pushed by the parallel state toward a regime of presidential republic, unrelated to what had been established through the two Constitutions voted by the citizens. Now, we are in the beginning of another major, dangerous experiment of our times, namely the establishment of a direct democracy instead of the representative one. Modern states didn’t introduce by chance the mechanism of representative democracy, because it has been proven that it is by far the most efficient one. Representative democracy brought with it the attributes of the modern state, the separation of powers in the state, the universal vote, the democratic elections of the rulers,” the Senate President stated.

He underscored that, according to the Constitution, there are limits of the revision and the citizens don’t have the right to decide regarding certain issues, such as fees and taxes, international treaties or amnesty and pardon.

“By banning the citizens’ right to a legislative initiative on this topics, the Constitution, the most important social contract of a society, shelters certain extremely sensitive areas from the temptation of populism. For instance, what would be the citizens’ response regarding a referendum on eliminating all fees? Klaus Iohannis knew precisely that his questions are unconstitutional: he knew that the result of a referendum cannot ‘deceive’ the interdiction to legislate, which was mentioned above. He only wanted to force Parliament or the CCR to counter the ‘will of the people’, as he calls it, and to portray himself as the sole supporter of it,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu also wrote.

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that it’s “no tragedy” that the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has invalidated some of the proposals to amend the fundamental law, hammered out after the May 26 referendum, stating that the political parties will simply have to come up with alternative law amendment solutions.

“The Constitutional Court has confirmed the results of the referendum as early as last month, rendering this action the society insistently demands, as fair and fully constitutional. I repeat – the Court has validated the referendum. It’s the duty of the parliamentary parties to find the best way to transpose the citizens’ option into law. (…) It’s no tragedy that some of the Constitution amendment drafts have been invalidated by the Court, just as some voices claimed in the public space. The parties will just simply have to come up with other variants to change the legislation, that should lead to the same result: transposing the people’s will into law as soon as possible. The Constitutional Court ruling does not change the reality: after the May 26 vote, Parliament will no longer be able to legislate on amnesty and pardon of corruption offenders, because this would flagrantly violate the people’s will, as categorically and democratically expressed at the referendum. This is also a principle established by the CCR,” the head of the state said.

He emphasized that it is mandatory that the people’s will expressed at the referendum be observed.

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