Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea has said on Thursday he sent to the Constitutional Court the notification regarding Law 90/2001 banning from joining the government the individuals convicted in criminal files. Thus the Ombudsman has notified the CCR on the unconstitutionality of article 2, which does not allow PSD leader Liviu Dragnea to be member of the government due to his final sentence on parole. The Ombudsman claims the law violates the principle of balance of powers.
On December 19 the Ombudsman announced that a decision concerning the above mentioned article will be made after the next government takes over.
Law 90/2001 reads that members of the government can be the individuals having Romanian citizenship and domicile in the country, have all electoral rights, have not been criminally convicted and are not in an incompatibility case.
After the general elections, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea claimed his party would not take any steps to amend the law, however he mentioned that “it’s the Ombudsman’s decision to challenge the law to the Constitutional Court.” According to Dragnea, the law is not a “restriction of fundamental rights” but it is abolition” for life of the right “to be elected”, arguing that “Government members are voted by Parliament, so they are not elected.”
President Iohannis, indignant by the Ombudsman’s decision
President Klaus Iohannis is indignant by the Ombudsman’s decision to challenge Law 90/2001 to the Constitutional Court, presidency spokeswoman Madalina Dobrovolski said on Thursday.
“The President of Romania is indignant by the decision this morning of the Ombudsman, having only one beneficiary. The President of Romania was surprised by the swiftness with which the Ombudsman wants to become useful to the new majority,” Dobrovolski said at Cotroceni Palace.
She underscored that the efforts of a convicted person are not the responsibilities of the Ombudsman, adding that by this action “the gate would be open for the criminally convicted individuals to rule.”
Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea expressed surprise on Thursday, following the statements of the Presidential spokesperson. “Regarding the statements of the Presidential Administration spokesperson on the notification to the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman underscores that the steps aim to confirm (…) that the three state powers need to meet the same criteria regarding the dignitaries,” a release reads.
Ciorbea claims the institution does not want to favour one politician or another, as the court’s notification was made only after the new government took over. He also said he hopes that the opinion expressed at Cotroceni Palace does not represent the head of state’s point of view.