President Klaus Iohannis’ balance sheet after one year in office


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A year ago, over 6.2 million Romanian had voted Klaus Iohannis for president of the country for five years. The current president promised Romania a different policy, far less scandals and more efficiency. The first year of his tenure was however marked by disputes with the government led by Victor Ponta, and with the Parliament, which has forgotten the promise made early this year to give the go-ahead to all requests for lifting the immunity, reports.
Klaus Iohannis was saying a year ago: “Dear Romanians, with over 6.2 million votes I’ve been elected the president of Romania. Thank you. We must get to work.”
A day after he was elected president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis asked the parliament to approve all the requests it receives from prosecutors. The leaders of political parties said they agree.
After two months, the MPs seemed to forget the promise. Several requests for lifting the immunity received the parliament’s negative vote, including the one for Victor Ponta. The President was critical against this position at his one hundred days’ speech.
Another presidential project, i.e. the constitutional revision, was also forgotten. The President succeeded however, after several rounds of consultations, to convince the parties to adopt new electoral laws. The mayors will be elected in a single round, while the uninominal vote for parliamentary elections was replaced by proportional representation on the lists. Another promise of the president, voting by correspondence, was partially met, as the law was passed by Parliament in a form that would apply only to parliamentary elections next year. Moreover, it has been challenged to the Constitutional Court.
During this year, Klaus Iohannis has refused to promulgate several important bills such as the law granting special pensions for the MPs and a first draft of the Tax Code.
The most heated dispute accompanied the rejection of the Forestry Code. The Prime Minister suggested that the president would defend the interests of a foreign company in the forestry field.
The rift between the president and the prime minister seemed final in June, when the DNA began the prosecution of Victor Ponta, for acts allegedly committed when he was a lawyer. But the President does not have the leverage to remove from office the head of government. Iohannis thus demanded the resignation of the then Prime Minister Ponta.
Victor Ponta’s resignation was filed only in early November, after being requested by tens of thousands of Romanians who took to the streets after the tragedy at the Colectiv nightclub. One year after being elected, Klaus Iohannis is for the first time in the position to appoint a prime minister. But the new government is not the one he had requested a year ago, but a compromise, accepted for now by all parties.


“One year ago we started together on the path to a new way of doing politics in Romania – with seriousness and respect for principles and less scandal among politicians. It was a year with lots of challenges and trials, but we made the first steps. Thank you for being my partners in building a powerful Romania that we all hope for,” President Klaus Iohannis wrote on Monday on Facebook.

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