PNL, USR argue over vote on the Legislative Council president, over which one to refer case to the CCR

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PNL and USE have embarked on a row on the recent vote by the Parliament on the appointment of SocDem Florin Iordache as the President of the Legislative Council, a lifetime term of office. After both parties had accused each other of helping PSD to secure his candidate with this position, now they are arguing about which one is most entitled to refer the vote to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR).

USR has announced on Wednesday morning that they will challenge Iordache’s appointment as the Legislative Council Head, and implicitly the appointment of its own MP, George Dirca as chief of the official records and research legislation department within the same Legislative Council.

An hour later, Liberals, too, announced they will refer the appointments to the CCR, claiming that USR “is mathematically lacking the necessary number of signatures”.

“The PNL parliamentary group will file a referral tot he CCR over the fact the appointment of Florin Iordache at the helm of the Legislative Council is not constitutional. PNL has the necessary number of signatures for the referral and we want to help our colleagues from USR, which, mathematically, haven’t the necessary number of signatures,” reads a PNL press release.

In retort, USR says it doesn’t need the Liberals’ signatures.

“USR will challenge the appointments to the CCR for they did not meet the number of votes as stipulated in the Law 73/1993, so the plenary sitting lacked quorum. After an hour and a half,  the PNL leader Florin Roman is announcing the same thing, that PNL will refer the case and that is offering to help USR with the signatures, through mass media. Only that the Parliament’s resolutions can be referred to CCR individually by any parliamentary group, there is no need for a precise number of signatures. So, Mr. Roman cannot <help> us with anything and he knows it very well. But for them it’s all an image game, a cannon of lies deployed against USR”, USR deputy Catalin Drula posted on Facebook.

On the other hand, PNL and USR have accused each other of enabling Florin Iordache’s appointment at the helm of the Legislative Council in the plenary sitting on Tuesday afternoon. More precisely, Liberals said that USR had voted with Iordache, and not Augustin Zegrean, in order to obtain a position in the Council for their lawmaker, George Dirca.

USR in retort has denounced there had been a PSD-PNL barter, ruined by Zegrean, who had withdrawn his bid for a department in the Legislative Council for which the deal had been made and raced instead for the helm of the Council. Moreover, USR accused PNL that only 36 of its 113 lawmakers had taken part in the vote, which also enabled the vote in Iordache’s favour. USR also had some MPs missing, 16 more exactly.

PNL argued that the party has many deputies and senators missing due to COVID-19 and that the result of the vote would have been the same if all Liberal MPs had attended the sitting.

PNL claimed that all its 36 MPs attending the plenary session had voted against Iordache and for Zegrean, while USR also said that its 21 MPs had done exactly the same.

“All those 21 USR lawmakers voted for Augustin Zegrean, who got 41 votes. So, maximum 20 other MPs voted for him. There were 36 Liberal MPs attending, so at least 36-20=16 Liberals voted for Iordache. Shameful,” said the leader of USR deputies, Catalin Drula.

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