President files complaint against Antena 3, RTV stations
President Klaus Iohannis filed a complaint at the National Audiovisual Council (the body monitoring Romanian television and radio channels’ activity) accusing Antena 3 and Romania TV for broadcasting talk shows on November 13 where they tried to connect Iohannis’ name to alleged illegalities.
The complaints are related to a topic debated by the two TV stations during the electoral presidential campaign, more precisely three days before the runoffs. Both Antena 3 and Romania TV claimed that the main sponsor of Iohannis at the presidential elections was Michael Schmidt, who is the brother-in-law of “one of the most controversial millionaire politicians in Republic of Moldova, Renato Usatii.”
In his complaint, the incumbent Romanian President said there is a total mix of opinions delivered by the TV host and the guests with reports and statements covered by the media, without having any proof, without a clear distinction of these reports and opinions.
Quoting a statement made by the TV host at Antena 3 saying that “You may wonder what is the money circuit and how is Klaus Iohannis’ campaign financed?”, the head of state says the TV host proved to be biased, trying to draw antipathy among the show’s guests. Iohannis also attacked the fact that the TV show tackled the topic related to the “murders made to order”, which, he argues, had nothing to do with the topic discussed in the show.
Romania TV also debated the topic on the alleged link of Iohannis to controversial Renato Usatii and his brother-in-law, posting an article entitled “Klaus Iohannis, supported by person akin to Moscow” on the TV website on November 13. Following this report, Romania TV broadcast this topic in the same day in the “President file” show. Klaus Iohannis accuses the two TV hosts put several accusations against him into debate, inducing the Liberal contender would be close to Usatii. “In my view, Romania TV tried to link my name and my image to alleged illegalities, without having any evidence, without any legal ground (….),” the President argued in his complaint.