President Klaus Iohannis has announced on Tuesday, from Vienna, that he will attend the Government sittings this year.
“I’ve requested the agenda. I have seen from the Premier the wish to cooperate. Repeatedly, she has invited me to cooperate. I will cooperate: I will attend the Government sittings,” President Iohannis said, according to ziare.com.
The decision comes as rumours are ongoing about the issuing of a government ordinance on amnesty and pardon, about which the head of state it would be an error.
“Such an ordinance would be a serious error. A very serious error for Romania,” Iohannis said.
Later on Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis has urged Prime Minister Dăncilă to include on the agenda of the next government sitting “the topic of protecting the rights and interests of Romanian citizens living in the UK”, given that Romanian authorities should be ready for any scenario regarding the exit. The request was sent via a letter addressed to the Premier. Analysts say the topic would allow the President to attend the sitting by the letter of the Constitution.
On Monday, President Iohannis requested Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to send him the agenda for each Government sitting, 24 hours before.
Former Constitutional Court chairman Augustin Zegrean has explained for ziare.com that President Iohannis can attend the Government sittings without being requested by Premier Dancila.
“The President can attend the sittings without being invited by the Prime Minister, but it’s hard for me to imagine that the President could stay all day long at the Victoria Palace to watch over so that an emergency ordinance is not issued. It is unimaginable,” Zegrean said.
PM Dancila says she would send invitation with celerity if necessary
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has replied on Tuesday to President Klaus Iohannis.
“I have taken note with satisfaction of your statements, whereby you finally admit it is necessary to cooperate for the benefit of Romania. I also salute the fact that you have answered to my appeal for political cooperation in order to ensure for Romania a good EU Council Presidency. Referring to your request, mentioning the prerogatives according article 87 of the Romanian Constitution, on the Government sittings agenda, I inform you that the Romanian Government posts, every time, on its website, the draft normative acts or other documents, together with the draft public bills, draft normative acts, documents that can be read by everyone. In case the Government sitting agenda will include normative acts regarding issued of national interest on foreign policy, defence, public order, according to the mentioned constitutional text, I will note it and I will have all openness if you decide to attend the Government sitting,” the Premier’s letter reads.
PM Dancila said she would address the President with celerity the invitation to attend the Government sitting, if she considers his participation necessary and draws the attention on Constitutional prerogatives.
The message reads that in the cases of ‘other situations’ when the PM is to decide to invite the President “I will address with celerity the invitation to attend the Government sitting, if I consider it necessary. Concluding, I assure you, Mr. President, that the Government is aware of the Constitutional provision which tells the Government and the President, as well as other public authorities, to observe the constitutional competences, without assuming prerogatives that exceed the legal and constitutional framework.”
PSD’s Florin Iordache reacts: The President cannot block the Gov’t activity
“So, what if he attends the sittings? He can take notes. (…) It is the Government’s right to set the agenda. The President cannot block the Government activity,” PSD deputy chair Florin Iordache has told Digi 24 TV private broadcaster after the President’s announcement.
“Everything the Government approves is published by the Official Gazette, be it the ordinance on amnesty or other normative acts,” Iordache added.
Asked if it’s the time for the ordinance on amnesty and pardon to be adopted, he replied: “If it’s the time? When it’s the proper time? The last time when amnesty and pardon was adopted was in 2003. It’s the Government’s right to adopt such a normative act. Such a clemency act for certain offenses is not bad.”
In regard to the referendum on justice announced early this year by President Iohannis, the social-democrat said: “Good luck! For the time being it’s much talk and nothing is done. Why doesn’t he initiate it? He’ll find out that the citizens want something else.”
In turn, Government Secretary General Toni Grebla, former Constitutional Court judge, says the President should know the prerogatives by the Constitution.
“I am convinced that the statement is political, if it would be institutional – I suppose Mr. President knows the Constitution and his prerogatives in this regard – this would mean, by wanting to attend all the Government sittings, he violates the principle of shared competences of the institutions, authorities and the powers of the state,” Toni Grebla said.
PSD’s criminal complaint against him, a fantasy – the head of state says
President Iohannis also commented on the request from PSD leader Liviu Dragnea to the social-democrats to file a criminal complaint against the head of state for high treason.
“It is a political demarche doomed to fail. Nobody can file criminal complaints against the President. For high treason there are complicated parliamentary procedures, it lacks support. It’s a social-democrat fantasy,” Iohannis said.
On Sunday, during the National Council, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea called on Mircea Draghici and Florin Iordache to file a criminal complaint against President Klaus Iohannis for high treason, following his statement that Romania is not ready to take over the EU Council presidency.