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December 3, 2022

Bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland inflames spirits on the Romanian political scene. President Iohannis accuses PSD of “fighting to give Transylvania away to Hungarians”

A bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland has passed the Chamber of Deputies by tacit approval and it will move on to the Senate, which is the decision-making body in this case.

As the deadline for a debate and vote in the Chamber of Deputies ran out, and the chamber found the tacit adoption of the draft in a sitting of April 23, the legislative proposal passed as submitted by the initiators – Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) MPs Kulcsar-Terza Jozsef-Gyorgy and Biro Zsolt-Istvan. The Committee on Administration had issued a negative opinion on the bill.

The project provides for the Szeklerland to become an autonomous region with a legal personality.

The autonomy of the Szeklerland, adopted by law, shall be put up for a referendum of the citizens of the Szeklerland, according to the bill.

The bill provides for the counties of Covasna, Harghita and a part of Mures County to make up an autonomous region with a legal personality inside Romania. It sets out the boundaries of the territory that would become the Szeklerland, for which it provides its own administrative organisation, with a public administration and institutions at all levels, conferring specific powers, the use of the Hungarian language as the official language of the Szeklerland and of symbols of the Hungarian nation.

The bill also proposes that regional autonomy be exercised by a self-administration council, a regional public administration elected by universal, equal, direct, secret and free vote, as well as by a self-administration commission designated by it. The bill also defines the following central public administration entities of the Szeklerland: the Self-Administration Council, the Self-Administration Commission, the President of the Szeklerland; entities of the seat – the Council, the Commission, and the President, along with the local public administration: the Communal Council, Town Council, City Council, and the Mayor’s Office.

The Administrative Committee of the Chamber of Deputies has drawn up a report rejecting the legislative proposal on the grounds that it “as a whole, it runs contrary to the constitutional rules and principles, domestic legal order, European Union law and international law.” The Romanian government has also issued an opinion that it does not support the adoption of the legislative proposal, and the Economic and Social Council (ESC) and the Legislative Council have also issued negative opinions.

The bill will be sent to the Senate, which is the decision-making body in this case.

PSD (Social Democratic Party) does not support the law regarding the autonomy of the Szeklerland and this party’s members will vote against and reject it at once in the Senate, which is the decision-making chamber, interim leader of the party Marcel Ciolacu stated on Wednesday.

Floor leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) in the Chamber of Deputies Florin Roman has called the tacit adoption in the Chamber of Deputies of a bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland a “political trade” between the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), urging PSD to demand a debate on the bill in the Senate and defeat it.

Pro Romania is against the bill regarding the autonomy status of the Szeklerland and will campaign for the bill to be defeated in the Senate, Pro Romania national chairman Victor Ponta said on Wednesday.

“Last night, we found out from the press about the existence of this bill. Pro Romania MPs have not voted for such a law – and Pro Romania senators will vote it down! We are convinced that the Romanian Senate will defeat this initiative – and Pro Romania will campaign in this regard,” Ponta wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.


Senate to convene in plenary meeting Wednesday to vote the bill


Interim Senate President Robert Cazanciuc convened the plenary meeting of this forum on Wednesday, at 14:00hrs, with the sole topic on the agenda being the draft law regarding the autonomy of the Szeklerland.

“Today, at 14:00hrs, I have convened the Senate plenary meeting with a single topic on the agenda. The PSD [Social Democratic Party] senators will vote against the bill on the autonomy the Szeklerland!,” Cazanciuc wrote on Wednesday on his Facebook page.


President Iohannis accuses PSD of fighting to give Transylvania away to Hungarians


On Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis criticised a bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland, claiming that the social Democratic Party (PSD) helped the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) to pass this piece of legislation in the Chamber of Deputies.

“Jo napot kivanok [good afternoon in Hungarian], PSD. It is incredible, dear Romanians, what is happening in the Romanian Parliament. PSD has helped UDMR to pass through the Chamber of Deputies a law that gives wide autonomy to the Szeklerland. It is incredible where we have arrived with this PSD. It is incredible what agreements are made in Parliament. It is incredible while I, we, the government, the other authorities are fighting for the lives of Romanians, we are fighting to get rid of this pandemic, the great PSD is fighting in the secret offices of Parliament to give Transylvania away to the Hungarians. Jo napot, Ciolacu! What has the leader of Budapest, Viktor Orban, promised you in exchange for this agreement?,” Iohannis told a press briefing at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He warned Romanians that this means a “toxic PSD majority.”

“Therefore, my dear ones, it is now better understood why I wanted early elections. I no longer want the important problems of the nation to be decided by PSD. I no longer want this toxic PSD majority to decide against Romania and against Romanians. That is inadmissible and as long as I am the president of Romania, such a law will not exist,” Iohannis concluded.


PM Orban faults Speaker Ciolacu for failing to submit to vote bill on the autonomy of Szeklerland


Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Marcel Ciolacu should have put a controversial bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland on the agenda so that it may be defeated, instead of launching “threats and accusations” at him at news conferences.

“Instead of giving news conferences in which to launch threats and accusations against me, he should have, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies, put on the agenda of the plenary session this bill to be defeated, all the more so as the procedure had been followed and there was a negative report on this bill, with negative opinions. (…) Once again, I am warning those who lead the two chambers to follow the due legislative process and to follow all the procedures, because, once again, this piece of legislation passed by tacit adoption because those who lead the Chamber of Deputies failed to put the bill on the agenda of the plenary sitting. Given that they put other bills on the agenda of the plenary that may break some rules in the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies, they could have put this bill on the agenda to be defeated by the MPs,” said Orban after a visit to a factory of special products in Dragomiresti, Dambovita County.


Ciolacu:  President Iohannis’ outburst today shows how low one can go in politics


Acting national chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu said on Wednesday that President Iohannis’s statement on the bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland was one that “totally disqualifies” the presidential office and that “shows how low one can go in politics.”

“Today’s outburst of President Iohannis shows how low you can go in politics. It is an outburst that totally disqualifies the presidential office. I want to remind President Iohannis that he had no reaction when the Romanian ambassador to Budapest was tarnished a few days ago. Had he been a true patriot, he would have defended the Romanian ambassador! President Iohannis knew that PSD was against the bill on the autonomy of the Szeklerland, and that at 14:00hrs this bill would be definitively defeated by the Senate. Same as many other similar bills have been rejected over time. However, he had this anti-Romanian and anti-democratic outburst,” Ciolacu wrote on Facebook.

He added that Iohannis should be more concerned “that he has exported Romanians to German plantations,” people whom he and the government “have abandoned.”

“I also think that President Iohannis should have been more concerned that his government is letting the forests be cut down. Romanians are expecting from the self-proclaimed pandemic fight banner wearer concrete solutions to their problems, not political fights. Given the situation we are in, the president should be concerned about the fate of Romanians, the protection of living standards, the preservation of jobs, the possibility of postponing their loan repayments, solutions for employees who are forced to leave their children alone at home, instead of political aberrations,” Ciolacu said.


Sen. Tariceanu: Iohannis to prove in Parliament PSD agreed with foreign power to cede part of Romanian territory


Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on Wednesday that President Klaus Iohannis must come to Parliament to prove the “grave accusation” that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) had “a hidden deal” with a foreign power to cede part of the national territory.

“Today, Mr. Iohannis made the worst accusation ever made in Romania after December 1989. He accused a parliamentary party of having a hidden agreement with a foreign power to cede part of its national territory. Things cannot stay that way. Mr. Iohannis must come to Parliament to bring evidence for this serious accusation. This accusation can have only two solutions: either the accusations are true and the accused party must be banned or the President of Romania lies and manipulates and must resign and suffer the rigors of the law,” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.


UDMR:  Iohannis’ statements send atypical and dangerous message and he must apologize


UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor said the statements made by the head of state, Klaus Iohannis, with respect to the Szekerland, send an “atypical and dangerous message like PRM [Greater Romania Party] used to send” and he must apologize.

“Klaus Iohannis, while looking hysterical and nervous, has made a statement that is unworthy of a president, sending an atypical, violent and dangerous message like PRM used to send: Hungarians want to take Ardeal from us. We have witnessed today an unseen event in the past 30 years: the president himself misinforms and instigates people against the Hungarians by using the very microphone at the Cotroceni Palace. UDMR firmly rejects this type of discourse and any type of instigation. The President needs to apologize for this dangerous deviation,” said the head of the UDMR in a press release.





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