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January 24, 2022

PSD’s Ciolacu: If ruling coalition forces Mrs. Weber’s removal from office of Ombudsman, we will challenge the decision with the Constitutional Court

National leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu said on Tuesday that if the lawmakers of the ruling coalition “force” Renate Weber’s being removed from office as the Ombudsman, the Social Democrats will challenge the decision with the Constitutional Court.

“Renate Weber is an institution among the institutions of the rule of law, the Ombudsman, the Constitutional Court (CCR). Why would you start attacking? She has tenure. Why would you come out to attack a certain tenure? Definitely, if they force removing Mrs Renate Weber, we will challenge the decision. And I will definitely address the family of European socialists first and foremost and not just for this attack, which in the end is an attack at the rule of law. You don’t have the necessary justifications to come up with something like that. Maybe we have forgotten about those ordinances issued at night without taking into account the rights and freedoms of Romanians, in violation of the Constitution. You are not allowed, regardless of whether it is a state of war, a pandemic, to set such a precedent as President Iohannis created by supporting a political party. He has crossed a red line. Renate Weber came and said – I understand there is a pandemic, but do not cross the red line by violating rights and freedoms,” Ciolacu told TVR 1 national broadcaster.

He added that members of the ruling coalition consider the Ombudsman to be “an instrument” and that Renate Weber can still “attack” certain violations of rights and freedoms.

“The Ombudsman is very important in that area, and Mrs Renate Weber has come out and challenged all the decisions, the ordinances. I assume that they conducted some opinion polls and saw what personality or institution to attack and it has emerged from the polls that the most vulnerable would be Mrs Renate Weber, who is not a communicator, she does not do talk shows, she represents the Ombudsman. They are still playing in the electoral logic, they have nothing to do with the government,” added Ciolacu.

The standing bureaus of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate meet on Tuesday, with a request for the removal of the current Ombudsman and the rejection of the activity reports of the public radio and television corporations featuring on the agenda. The joint plenary meeting will be convened on Wednesday, according to Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban.

According to him, the Ombudsman should be replaced “as soon as possible”, given the “attitude” of incumbent Renate Weber during her tenure. Orban explained that the request for the removal of Weber is based “on the fact that she generated exceptions of unconstitutionality at the Constitutional Court which were rejected by the court, on Weber’s attitude during the COVID-19 pandemic, which generated extremely many problems with protecting the health and life of the people and, in general, on her partisan conduct in relation to the lawmaking process and, especially, to the bills adopted by Parliament.”

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