The plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies adopted, on Wednesday, with 202 votes “in favour”, 91 votes “against” and 4 abstentions, a decision amending the regulations of the legislative forum.
According to the document, the broadcasting or recording the sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, the Standing Bureau, Committee of Leaders or committees is forbidden by any means other than those officially used by the Chamber of Deputies.
“By way of derogation from this paragraph, deputies may broadcast or record the sitting of the Chamber and the sittings of committees only within the perimeter of the sitting room allocated to the parliamentary group of which they are members or, in the case of non-affiliated members, within the perimeter allocated to them.”
Another provision states that “the use of physical violence consisting of aggressive gestures or verbal violence consisting of shouting, insulting, offensing or slandering another parliamentarian is prohibited.”
The amendment of the regulations also states that it is forbidden to participate in the unfurling of a banner in the plenary sitting room or in the committees’ rooms.
People who violate these provisions will be evacuated immediately from the hall.
“Evacuation shall be compulsory and shall be ordered by the ex officio president of the sitting or at the request of a Member of Parliament by a weighted majority of the leaders of parliamentary groups. The Quaestors shall ensure without delay the implementation of the disciplinary measure with the help of the staff of the Directorate of Internal Affairs, regardless of the quality, position or office held by the person who is evacuated,” the document states.
In the event of a repeated breach of the prohibitions, the chairperson, a group leader or a Member of Parliament may refer the matter to the Standing Bureau so as to enforce one of the sanctions.
The ruling also provides for sanctions for those who break the rules of procedure.
It also stipulates the reduction of the allowance by up to 50 percent up to 6 months for voting by electronic means using the vote card of another deputy, for participating in the unfolding of a banner in the plenary hall or in the halls of committees, for registering or broadcasting live transmission sittings of the Chamber of Deputies, the Standing Bureau, the Committee of Leaders, in violation of the rules, for physical violence used against another parliamentarian or verbal violence consisting of shouting, insulting, threatening, invective, slandering, against another parliamentarian.
The National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania and the group of national minorities proposed on Tuesday the draft amendment to the Chamber of Deputies’ Rules of Procedure prohibiting the live transmission or recording by lawmakers or others of plenary, Standing Bureau, Committee of Leaders or committee sittings. The initiative to amend the Chamber of Deputies’ Rules comes after an incident in Parliament, where the Romanian energy minister Virgil Popescu was insulted assaulted by the co-president of the nationalist opposition party AUR (the Alliance for the Union of Romanians), George Simion.
The Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Tuesday that a criminal investigation was initiated with respect to this incident. Popescu had previously filed a criminal complaint against Simion.
AUR’s George Simion: This is the onset of General Ciuca’s dictatorship in Romania
Chamber floor leader of the Alliance for the Union of Romania (AUR) George Simion declared on Wednesday in the plenary sitting that “General Ciuca’s dictatorship” is being instated in Romania, and the amendments to be brought to the Chamber of Deputies’ Rules of Procedure are “a punch in the mouth of the Opposition”.
“We are still allowed to take the floor in the Chamber of Deputies. Starting tomorrow, the floor time in the plenary and committee sittings will be limited, we will be told where we can film from and where not, as if the regulations of this institution do not clearly state that the sittings are public. Media presence and recording is allowed only after receiving the consent of the Standing Bureau, an eminently political institution. (…) A fellow MP said that we are approaching a totalitarian regime and what are you doing? You simply confirm this accusation. (…) It’s a sad day for democracy in Romania, because you ban filming for the common citizen to no longer be able to see how certain colleagues navigate porn sites,” Simion said during the debate on the decision to amend the Chamber Deputies’ Rule of Procedure.
He went on to say that the whole country should see the MPs “watching porn and voting for special pensions and raking in 10,000-15,000 in benefits”.
“That’s what the Romanian taxpayer pays per head of MP, and you were bothered that I filmed this, and now you ban video recording under the pretext of so-called violence. Just strike off the filming provisions, leave those on violence and profanity you are all guilty of. (…) Shame on you for what you are doing here today, in the Chamber of Deputies, punching the Opposition in the mouth. General Ciuca’s dictatorship is setting in in Romania as of today,” said the AUR Co-chairman.
Barna: USR supports sanctions against violence, but not those blocking transparency
The Save Romania Union (USR) supports the sanctions against those who resort to violence, but not those that provide for blocking transparency and the right to broadcast images or parliamentary debates, said, on Wednesday, the deputy chair of the party, Dan Barna.
“The problem is that once again, a pretext – that of the violence of Mr. [George] Simion and those from this pro-Russian extremist party, in order to block transparency. Last night the draft law provided for blocking the press’ access to the committee debates. Through the amendments that my colleagues, the USR deputies in the Regulations Committee, brought this morning, the elimination of this excessively abusive matter was successful. In equal measure, though, there are a lot of regulations that limit transparency. With this we cannot agree,” Barna told a press conference, at the Parliament Palace.
He mentioned that, since entering the Legislative, the USR representatives have broadcast, in turn, recordings from parliamentary debates.
According to him, the sanctions by which an entire parliamentary group is blocked “can always be used” against parties that are in legitimate opposition.
IntMin Bode: When dialogue disappears and violence intervenes, it means we are on a wrong path
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Lucian Bode, stated, on Wednesday, in Constanta, regarding the incident on Monday in Parliament – when the Energy Minister, Virgil Popescu, was shoved by Alliance for the Union of Romanians deputy and co-chair George Simion – that when dialogue disappears and violence intervenes, it means we are on a wrong path.
“In Parliament we have a special directorate that handles order ultimately, the Internal Affairs Directorate, (…) but what we saw these days in Parliament is beyond any common decency limit, to not mention the lack of any dialogue, because when in the Romanian Parliament, in the supreme lawmaking forum dialogue disappears and violence intervenes, it means we are on the wrong path,” said the Interior Minister.
“I believe that, on the one hand, the MP colleagues, in the Regulations Committee, will amend the rules and will come with drastic measures to sanction such slippages, and the Prosecutor’s Office, given that there are acts of a criminal nature, will take the legal measures necessary,” said Bode.
The Internal Affairs Minister, Lucian Bode, attended, on Wednesday, in Constanta Harbor, the ceremonial of entry into the fleet for five maritime high-speed intervention boats with the Romanian Border Police.
Compiled from Agerpres