President welcomes Venice Commission delegation, slams the criminal codes amendments by the Parliament in Bucharest

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President Klaus Iohannis has welcomed the Venice Commission delegation at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Wednesday, which is in Romania these days to discuss the latest legislative developments in the judiciary system prompted by the adoption of five emergency ordinances in this sector starting September 2018.

According to a Presidency’s press release, the Romanian head of state has voiced his discontent during the talks over the “defective way” in which SPD is legislating, “with the latest example being the adoption of the criminal codes’ amendments.” “This way of legislating is extremely noxious and is deliberately creating instability inside the justice system,” reads the press release.

“President Klaus Iohannis has highlighted that, although the Constitutional Court of Romania has identified numerous irregularities in the two GEO drafts amending the Criminal Codes, the Parliament has not learnt its lesson and has re-discussed them in the same very fast, superficial and non-transparent way. The PSD majority has again ignored deliberately the parliamentary Opposition, the institutions, the magistrates associates and even the Venice Commission’s opinion regarding these amendments”, the Presidential Administration said.

As for the GEO topics, the head of state considers that this legislative tool has been used in excess in very sensitive topics, where “a serious, in-depth and completely transparent debate is needed”. “In this regard, President Klaus Iohannis has underlined that Romania is now in the situation that the Government is legislating and the Parliament is just taking note”.

Iohannis further argued that the emergency ordinances have been stipulated by the Constitution as tools at the Government’s hand in order to enable it to prompt in only in extraordinary situations and on really urgent matter for the lawmaking. “In time, however, the successive governments have used the ordinances in excess, which became a serious problem”, the president said, while explaining that, amid the concerns over new vulnerabilities hanging over the judiciary in Romania, he decided to call the referendum on justice on May 26.

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