Hundreds took to the street downtown Bucharest again. “NO to pardon for the corrupt. GEO 13 is back. So are we!”
Senators of the legal committee have passed an amendment that pardons the persons convicted for corruption, namely for offenses such as bribe taking, bribery or influence peddling, if they pay the prejudice.
The initiator of the amendment, former president Traian Basescu argued that a lot of politicians are charged with bribe taking for instance, or with abuse of office for deeds committed in the electoral campaign, “when all parties were illegally financed”.
“I proposed the pardon for bribe taking considering that the pardon is eventually done by paying back the prejudice and considering that we are not talking about recidivists (…) Until the last law on financing the electoral campaign was enforced, all parties can be charged with bribe taking and abuse of office. I agree that those who took the money home should be punished and they should be. But actually the money went on jackets and umbrellas (…) If we pretend now that Virgins Mary have come and our prosecutor’s offices go on this line…this made the political class obedient, if you notice. All politicians going through electoral campaign, except for the last 2016 campaign, have these problems,” Basescu pointed out.
He said that there should be a moment zero, which can be done only through pardon.
The PNL and USR representatives voted against the amendment. However, the rest of the senators in the committee voted in favor, so it has passed by five votes to three.
President’s, premier’s reactions
President Iohannis has promptly retorted to the decision of the Senate’s committee, saying that he is uncomfortable with it.
“For now, I won’t voice any opinion, as it is just a vote in the committee, but I am uncomfortable with it, to say something about the evolution in the committee,” said Iohannis.
PM Sorin Grindeanu also retorted on Facebook: “I said it before and I repeat: the Government endorses the pardon law in its initial form. The amendments on corruption deeds adopted today by the Senate’s legal committee haven’t got the Executive’s endorsement,” the premier posted on his Facebook page.
Protest in Victoriei Square
At the same time, a protest has been called on Facebook against the legal committee’s decision, starting from 7 p.m. to midnight. “NO to pardon for the corrupt. GEO 13 is back. So are we!” rally was announced on the Facebook page of “Corruption Kills”.
“When the law turns to wrongdoing, resistance is a duty! We change our programme today and we see one another again in the street!,” was the Facebook appeal.
Hundreds of people answered the call and came in front of the Government to voice their discontent against the amendment that allows people convicted for bribery and influence peddling to benefit of pardon.
Demonstrators are chanting “Thieves”, “We are not a nation of thieves” and many others.
Smaller rallies took place in Constanţa, Cluj, Sibiu and Braşov.