Chamber of Deputies adopts amendments to Criminal Codes, Opposition to refer the bill to Constitutional Court

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The Chamber of Deputies has adopted on Wednesday, as decision-making body, the draft bills on the amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The law was voted by 181 Deputies, with 83 ballots against and one abstention.

The bills received favourable opinion from the legal committee chaired by Florin Iordache.

Opposition Deputies from PNL, USR and PMP have criticized the amendments, warning they would refer the bill to the Constitutional Court as they ‘favour the corrupt in public offices’, hotnews.ro reports.

The Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea has stated after the vote that it had been proved there is no problem with the parliamentary majority and that there has been no amendments to the criminal codes.

Our majority is pretty clear, today we had 180 votes (…) let’s be rigorous, some other liars will come to speak. The amendment procedure on the Criminal codes has been initiated many months ago. The laws have been challenged to the Constitutional Court and CCR said that some articles are not constitutional and cannot be accepted and that a series of articles must be amended to become constitutional (…) There has been no amendment, not even a comma over the CCR rulings. Today the parliamentary procedure has been closed down partially, for they will challenge to CCR some articles already declared as constitutional”, Dragnea said.

As for the reshuffle issue, the PSD chair said if a prime minister comes before the Parliament to do a reshuffle, this will be a resolution draft, the government comes and tells the parliament. “If the Parliament says <we invested the government with a certain structure and we consider that your structure is not good, then you stay with the old structure, so, the government will not be toppled down in any circumstances”, he explained

PNL Deputies’ leader Raluca Turcan said none of the amendments has to do with Romania’s real problems and with the CCR decisions, they just favour the offenders.

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“You are sending a disturbing message to the Venice Commission and you don’t care you are alone in the country and you do want you want. I appeal to you, as mother and on behalf of honest people not to vote this bill which favours the corrupt in public offices and dismays the honest people in the country. PNL will not vote for the amendments. We will challenge the bill to the CCR, a law which will put Romania at the edge of Europe. I hope that UDMR, the minorities will not vote, I hope the ALDE Deputies will not vote,” Turcan said.

USR Deputy Stelian Ion argues the procedure was violated and his party will notify the Constitutional Court. He claims the report should have been submitted 3 days before the vote. “We had only 3 minutes before the plenary. We will point to this infringement to the Constitutional Court,” Ion said.

“The PSD-ALDE attack against honest people and in favour of criminals has reached paroxysm,” he said, adding that these amendments will lead to the infringement procedure against Romania. “It’s sad you put at risk the Romanians’ interest to defend your bosses. Such attacks have not been carried out by any political regime,” Stelian Ion said.

UDMR Deputy Marton Arpad said his party would vote in favour of the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, as it about repealing the unconstitutional articles mentioned by CCR.

“We will vote only for eliminating the unconstitutional articles,” Marton Arpad said.

In regard to the amendments to the Criminal Code, the UDMR Deputy said there are several articles that should be reformulated, but his party cannot vote against the repealing of the unconstitutional articles.

PSD Deputy Eugen Nicolicea said the vote concerns only the articles declared unconstitutional and the ones which have not been challenged to the CCR.

“This draft bill, which received a positive opinion from the Constitutional Court, cannot be criticized, not even by the malevolent ones. The criticism comes from people who do not know what they talk about,” Nicolicea said.

The amendments to the Criminal Codes have been resumed in parliamentary procedure after PSD failed to adopt them by emergency ordinance, one of the reasons for the resignation of Justice Minister Tudorel Toader.

The legal committee adopted the report at great speed. The amendments concern amendments requested by the CCR, supporters say. However, the Opposition argues that the amendments aim to help PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea avoid the imprisonment sentence.

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