Parliament Oks referendum request by President Iohannis, yet Opposition claims wrongdoing

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The plenary sitting of the Parliament has voted the report on the letter sent by President Klaus Iohannis on the referendum being held on May 26, yet the Opposition parties have accused that the document Okayed by the MPs also includes recommendations that have not been discussed in the legal committees on Tuesday. The Opposition has asked for these recommendations to be removed, by their request has been rejected.

The report has been therefore voted in the form wanted by the ruling coalition.

USR deputy Stelian Ion has accused that the report contains a material error for „certain aspects have been introduced there without being previously discussed in the legal committees. „Or it is a clear fake intended to block this referendum”, he argued.

He proposed the paragraph on the Parliament’s recommendations to be removed from the report, a request also endorsed by the Liberals.

The Opposition parties say that these new recommendations would prevent the head of state from asking questions related to the two announced topics for the referendum, on corruption and amnesty and pardon. Therefore, through the articles in the Constitution invoked in these recommendations, MPs argue that the President cannot ask the citizens if they agree that amnesty and pardon should be banned for corruption deeds.

At the same time, lawmakers warn the president that he cannot initiate a legislative referendum, meaning he cannot ask Romanians questions related to legislation, such as the ban against emergency ordinances on justice matters. The MPs argued that the head of stated cannot ask such a question that would need the amendment of the Constitution.

The report has been voted in the form wanted by PSD.

One party, ALDE, has voted against President Iohannis’ request to organise a referendum on May 26, saying they are not opposing the idea of a referendum, but it should not scramble the elections for the European Parliament, also accusing Iohannis he wants to hide “his inactivity”.

However, the head of state is allowed not to take these recommendations into account, as the Parliament’s opinion is just consultative, not mandatory.

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