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President Iohannis explains why officials with criminal matters are not invited to the National Day celebrations

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday explained the criteria underlying the invitations sent to officials to attend the National Day celebration. Iohannis argued that the politicians who have files in court, guilty or not, should take one step behind.

According to the president, it’s good to have signs that political cleaning is operating at the top of state institutions.

It’s the National Day, dedicated to manifestations that want to underline the Romanian state is a unitary state, an European and NATO state. We don’t celebrate only the past on December 1st, but also want to draft Romania’s future.

Romania’s future is based on the EU and NATO values observance and all these have a very strong thing in common: the rule of law. I think it’s good to give strong signals which are easily understood both by the ordinary citizen and by the diplomat that the political cleaning is promoted from the top of the state,” the Romanian president said when asked what were the grounds for not inviting officials with criminal problems at the National Day ceremonies.

Iohannis further said that, although the benefit of the doubt is observed, “other standards are operating at the top of politics too”, adding that “no matter if they guilty or not”, politicians with files in courts should take a step behind.

It’s a common law in all democratic states in Europe and in the North-Atlantic area that politicians who have problems to solve related to criminal matters, regardless if they guilty or not, take a step behind until they solve their problems and after a while they can come back in the political pipeline. This common law is not well known or observed in our country, so to cover this common law gap, I decided to send the invitations as you know them,” Klaus Iohannis stated.

However, asked if the former president Traian Basescu, who has problems in court as well, was invited, Iohannis said ‘yes’. Questioned if the above-mentioned criteria shouldn’t be also applied to him, the President: “Yes, they do”.

As for the Bucharest general mayor, Gabriela Firea, who claimed she had not been invited to the military parade or to the official reception at Cotroceni Palace, although she had no criminal matters, President Iohannis said that the Ministry of National Defence had sent Firea an invitation to the military parade on December 1st, with the President knowing about that, and added that the way the general manager interpreted the invitation was “not elegent” in his view.

Even he is invited, ex-president Traian Basescu opined that Klaus Iohannis was wrong when not inviting certain officials at the nationdal day celebrations.

Iohannis has invented this category of <people with criminal matters> for those who are not tried, this is not good for a president. I saw he made selective invitations at the National Day, it’s not his birthday (…) I don’t say Tariceanu hasn’t got problems, or Ponta, this was also during my term, but I couldn’t  not invite the speakers of the two chambers, the prefects, the leaders of the county councils. On my birthday, on November 4, I decide whom I invite or not, but also on the National Day,” Basescu said for Gandul.info.

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About Alina Grigoras Butu