President Iohannis to consult parties over electoral laws

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President Klaus Iohannis invited parliamentary parties for consultations on electoral laws, mentioning there must be a reform both of the parties and of the Parliament, as everybody agrees “there are too many lawmakers”. He also said the Romanian Parliament must have fewer members and must be “more efficient and more credible.”

“I have invited parties for consultation in one of the upcoming days (…) I want to discuss over what packs of laws are the parties suggesting. For example, if we want to have a smaller, more performing Parliament, work needs to be done on the electoral Code, which, in its turn, will influence local elections in 2016 that must be organized so that people should really feel they are represented by the local leaders,” the Romanian president pointed out during a show at Realitatea TV.

He mentioned he doesn’t want to judge on a certain type of vote system, as he favors “an authentic dialogue” with the parties. “I don’t want to tell the parties what I prefer, but I want them to tell me how they see the best way for amending the electoral legislation,” Iohannis said.

The invitation was officially sent to the parliamentary parties on Friday are are due on January 28.

‘Parties must stand away from corrupt members’

The President also tackled the topic of parties’ corruption. He said that, in his view, corruption is a threat to the national security, pointing that political parties must also revise their approach in this respect.

“Parties reforming means much more than this. It means they must stand away from some colleagues why are maybe not helping the party reform itself, who are bringing a negative image due to their staying in that party. Obviously, they should not overreact, but a party’s statute must be modernized and enforced, even if this thing can be painful for one member or another,” Iohannis argued.

‘Yes, I do want a Liberal Gov’t’

The Romanian head of state has not hidden the fact he wants a Liberal Government, and he made no exception this time. He told Realitatea TV he wants that the National Liberal Party should form the Government and that he would feel comfortable with such a Government that could be able to enforce his ten-year vision project. “Yes, I want a PNL Government. I make no secret of that (…),” Iohannis said.

He explained he has a normal, institutional relationship with the incumbent premier Victor Ponta.” This Government was here when I became president. I did not choose for it, I am nor rejecting it either. Institutionally speaking, the Government is not the President’s business, but I don’t see how I can enforce by ten-year vision for Romania with this Cabinet,” he underlined.

Iohannis reiterated that Catalin Predoiu is his option for the prime minister position, as he was premier-designate following the merger between the National Liberal Party and the Democrat Liberal Party.

In retort, PM Victor Ponta said that his Cabinet is however a Social Liberal one, which has fulfilled 80 percent the former Social Liberal Union’s program. According to Ponta, his program for 2015-2016 is the best option for Romania.

On USA visit

Asked when he will pay a visit in the USA, Klaus Iohannis answered it is not important that this visit shall take place now, but that it shall be well prepared.

“Such a visit will definitely take place, but it is not so easy to go to Washington, these visits are being arranged long time before. For me it is not necessarily important to happen now, but to be well prepared. I would rather consider it takes longer to get there than our items should not be achieved,” he explained.

On the other hand, President Iohannis unveiled he would pay visits to Paris, Berlin and Brussels in February. In Paris, he will meet President Hollande and the French prime minister and in Berlin he will discuss with the German president and with Chancellor Angela Merkel, but also with Bundestag Speaker. During February 12-13, the Romanian President will attend the European Council meeting in Brussels.

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