After posting a Facebook message on Friday night, condemning the violent actions and calling the Interior minister to assume full responsibility over the gendarmes’ intervention, President Klaus Iohannis has asked again Interior minister Carmen Dan on Saturday to take the responsibility for the way she managed the situation during protests and o present a detailed report on the way police force has intervened and „especially following whose order”.
In retort, the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) has asked the head of state to immediately apologize for the „irresponsible” statements against Gendarmerie, arguing the gendarmes „have legally and legitimately acted” to prevent protesters entering the Victoria Palace.
„Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis is firmly condemning the violent actions, regardless of whom is committing them and against whom they are targeted. Under no circumstance there is no justification to brutally hit another man, and those who are guilty of these excessively brutal conducts should be severely punished. Romanians have proved in the past years they have civic actions to defend democracy and support the rule of law. The massive protest in Victoriei Square on Friday has been announced weeks ago, so there was enough time for the specialized structures of the Interior Ministry to prepare the action of its peacekeeping forces. At the same time, numerous public information induced the idea a diversion was being prepared, with street violence accents, by organized groups,” reads a press release by the Presidential Administration.
Iohannis said it is inexplicable why the Gendarmerie has not isolated and apprehended the groups of individuals with disorderly and violent conduct, allowing them to hijack the protest and prompt dramatic consequences.
The head of state accused that this Government proves again „it is irrational and that it acts against the interest of their own citizens”.
„I make a call on the PSD members who don’t want to be part of this to shy away of this harmful leadership, which takes the country to chaos and disorder,” concludes the President’s release.
In a press release sent by the Government on Saturday, PM Viorica Dancila has asked the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), as a matter of urgency, a complete report on the people who masterminded and provoked the violent actions on Friday night during the Diaspora rally, while accusing the Opposition leaders they are taking advantage of the dramatic effects of these events.
„PM Viorica Dancila is firmly condemning the violent actions in Bucharest on Friday evening, carried out by organized groups by hijacking a civic manifestation. The Interior Ministry’s reports show that violence has been gradually provoked by well organized groups, who have attacked the police force, institutions and have destroyed public goods, in the view of starting a conflict between the people who were peacefully protesting and the gendarmes, by making the state authority vulnerable,” reads the Gov’t press release.
„The street violent actions are unfortunately accompanied by the statements of some political leaders who are trying to exploit the dramatic effects of these events in their own gains, by launching accusations against the police force and state institutions and by inciting the population one against another. We make a call for more responsibility in the public statements and call on those leaders to drop using some regrettable events for electoral purposes,” the press release further says.
PSD lashes out against President Iohannis
PSD has asked president Iohannis to immediately apologize for the „irresponsible” statements made against Gendarmerie, saying gendarmes have acted „legitimately” and „legally” to prevent protesters from entering the Victoria Palace.
„It is not acceptable the Romanian President to make such a statement that undermines the state authority and urges the aggression to be resumed against public order and institutions,” reads PSD release.
A more violent stance has been taken by the PSD deputy Catalin Radulescu, known as the “AKM MP” for his injuries against protesters in the winter of 2017, who has stated on Saturday that the violence during the Diaspora rally represented a coup d’etat attempt, and that the opposition leaders led by Iohannis are to blame for it. Moreover, Radulescu threatened protesters again, this time saying: “Don’t provoke us, or 1 million of us will come and trample rough-shod over you“.
Orban asks for Interior minister’s dismissal, USR condemns actions against gendarme woman
While PNL chairman Ludovic Orban asked PM Viorica Dancila to dismiss Interior Ministers Carmen Dan, but also the Bucharest prefect Speranta Cliseru, or „otherwise she will be accomplice of everything that happened”, USR chair Dan Barna condemned the „hooligans”’ violent actions against the gendarme woman beaten by unidentified people during the protest.
However, Barna slammed the gendarmes’ intervention, accusing them of leaving two colleagues behind. „The chief of Gendarmerie should resign because of this. It is inexplicable to lose people during an operative action. Either the Romanian Gendarmerie is terribly incompetent, or gendarmes respected some clearly illegal orders, for the Law 550 clearly stipulates the ban on using tear gas where there are also women and children,” the USR leader argued.