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December 2, 2022

ALDE’s Tariceanu, after Liberals initiate procedure to revoke the Ombudsman: It’s time we notify EP, EC and Venice Commission of attacks against democratic institutions

ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu believes that the European Parliament (EP), the European Commission (EC) and the Venice Commission need to be notified about the “repeated attacks” to the fundamental institutions of justice and parliamentary democracy, like, among others, the Ombudsman and the Constitutional Court of Romania.

“Democracy only with approval from the Victoria Palace [Government Palace – editor’s note]! Because the Ombudsman refuses to become the Orban Government’s lawyer, she is asked to resign! Because the judges of the Constitutional Court refused to become Mr PM Orban’s servants, they are attacked with bayonets! In general, everything that is not to Ludovic Orban’s liking must be dismissed and changed! This disease of power that Ludovic Orban became infected with is very dangerous! It’s dangerous because it hurts the fundamental principles of democracy, in institutions that, like it or not, serve the public interest and not a party one!,” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

According to Tariceanu, “repeated attacks on justice, Parliament, the rights and freedoms of the citizen constitute serious threats to democracy and the rule of law.”

“You know I’m not a fan of complaints to the High Court, because I think we’ve done too much harm by washing our clothes in public, but this offensive to democracy must be signalled to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I believe that the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as the Venice Commission, must be notified, and repeated attacks on the judiciary, the fundamental institutions of justice and parliamentary democracy must be sanctioned in any way possible. It is clear that the masters of these people from PNL (National Liberal Party) are not from this country but from outside of it!” said Tariceanu.


Liberals initiate procedures for Renate Weber’s revocation from Ombudsman office


The Liberals submitted, on Monday, to Parliament, the request for the removal from Ombudsman office of Renate Weber.

“We have initiated the procedure today to remove the Ombudsman, Mrs Renate Weber. The first step of this procedure is to submit the removal request signed by the leader of the PNL group in the Senate and the undersigned, in my capacity as leader of the Liberals in the Deputies Chamber. The removal request has been submitted today with the Standing Bureau, and it has two counts, in principle. The first one refers to the conflict of interests Mrs Renate Weber is facing right now, as she is supposed to serve the state and the people while she acts against the state and the people. Basically, when she attacked the Constitutional Court of Romania, Mrs Renate Weber was basically protecting her own special pension as Ombudsman, and the second count refers to the fact that she exceeded her attributions by establishing that torture mechanism against the COVID hospitals, and we detailed on the two aspects. The request has a clear legal nature as well,” Florin Roman stated, before the meeting of the Executive Bureau of the PNL, which takes place at the headquarters of the party.

He showed that the discussions with the MPs to back this action have already started.

Liberals claim Renate Weber violated article 72 of the Constitution, regarding the conflict of interests.

“We ask you to notify the legal committees of the Deputies’ Chamber and the Senate to hear Mrs Renate Weber, the Ombudsman, and to make a report by which to propose the joint sitting of the Deputies’ Chamber and the Senate her removal from the said public office,” show the Liberals.


Orban: Renate Weber hasn’t been Ombudsman for a long time


The chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, stated on Monday that through the demarches in the recent period, Renate Weber ceased to be Ombudsman (e.n. – in Romanian, the office of the Ombudsman’s title literal translation would be Attorney of the People).

“We believe that the institution of the Ombudsman must be an institution that would defend the fundamental rights and liberties of the Romanian citizens, that would be on the side of Romanians who respect the law, not on the side of Romanians that knowingly infringe on the law, not be the representative in actions that the PSD [Social Democratic Party, opposition, ed. n.] and PSD acolytes are conducting, and from our point of view it has gone too far. To deem doctors, medical staff, all the employees of hospitals as administrators of detention camps is totally unacceptable, things are going beyond any imagination. Furthermore, attacking at the CCR (Constitutional Court of Romania, ed. n.) regulations through which fines were issued to those who did not respect the law showed that the Ombudsman has placed itself on the side of the 1 pct of the population who did not respect the law and who were fined for not respecting the law. All the demarches made in the last period by the Ombudsman show me that Renate Weber has not been the Attorney of the People for a long time, but remained as Ciorbea [e.n. – preceding holder of the office of Ombudsman] was before – the attorney of the PSD. (…) The last attack was the attack against the law regarding the taxation of special pensions,” said Orban after the PNL’s Executive Bureau meeting, that took place at the headquarters of the party.

He showed that the Liberals will attempt to gain the necessary support to revoke Renate Weber as Ombudsman.

“We will try. (…) Then we will see if the PSD truly supports the additional taxation of special pensions. If they support the revoking of the Ombudsman, it means they truly support it. If not, they don’t,” Orban also said.


Ombudsman does not comment on request for her removal from office; parliamentary procedure expected


The Ombudsman does not want to comment on the request for her removal from office, she is waiting for the parliamentary procedure to unfold, a press release from the Ombudsman sent to AGERPRES on Monday reads.

“We specify that, according to the laws in forces, the Ombudsman office and the Deputy Ombudsman office are of the same level with the office of minister or secretary of state and do not benefit from service or special pensions,” says the release.


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