The decision announced by President Klaus Iohannis to notify the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) and the Venice Commission on the laws of justice has stirred reactions from politicians and journalists.
Former CCR President, Augustin Zegrean, has told Digi 24 TV it’s the head of state’s right to do this. “It’s the President’s means to force the Parliament adopt clean and constitutional laws. The notification to the Venice Commission should have been done sooner, they actually work four months per year and it’s hard to get an answer between the sessions,” Zegrean said.
He believes the President has changed his decision on this notification when he saw “the same way to adopt the laws and the same texts are insisted upon. He believed (the Parliament – our note) will consider his stance and the CCR position, but it seems it did not happen.”
Zegrean has also underlined that the CCR decisions do not include the opinion expressed by the Venice Commission, but takes them into consideration.
Justice Minister is sceptical
Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader is sceptical on the President’s decision, as in his opinion the bills have already been seen by CCR and not many problems have been noticed, most of them regarding the expression and not the content.
Toader claims the statement that someone wants to rewrite the constitution is unfounded.
“I’ve heard the statement that the laws of justice needed three CCR decisions. It’s only natural, because there are three bills, CCR makes decisions on each of them when notified. The Court admitted 22 legal solutions out of the 300 articles. Most of them were considered unconstitutional for reasons of non-correlation of the laws and not the basic regulations, contrary to the Constitution,” the Justice Minister said.
Toader is amazed that the President is concerned about the setting up of an investigation section on magistrates, as the CCR has ruled the decision is constitutional.
Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu: It seems a step in order to delay the enforcement of the laws of justice
Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu says the referral to the Venice Commission, besides the one to CCR, seems to be a step to delay the enforcement of the laws of justice.
“The Constitutional Court, when conducting the constitutionality issues, always includes the recommendations from the Venice Commission. Thus, the supplementary referral to the Venice Commission seems more likely a step to delay the enforcement of the laws,” Tariceanu said.
He added he was expecting the President to notify again the CCR.
PSD Deputy Secretary General, Codrin Stefanescu: The President becomes more cynical every day
PSD Deputy Secretary General, Codrin Stefanescu, argues that the announcement made by President Iohannis shows that he becomes “more cynical every day, a bigger fan of Monica Macovei, more and more a saboteur” when it comes to the abuses made by some institutions.
“More often we see that Iohannis plays the part of communicator for the system we call as the parallel state, which is still working. I haven’t noticed he has taken any decision about the secret protocols issue. (…) We are a sole negative example worldwide in terms of intolerance and dictatorship,” Stefanescu told Digi 24 TV.
He added that the President becomes more and more “an agent of this system.”
“Instead of taking notice of such issues and instead of saying they are not allowed in a democracy won with blood by my generation, 29 years ago, Iohannis is becoming some kind of agent for the system, which proves his part in this equation. If he believes this is the way to win a new term in office, I say he is totally wrong, but we have to hold on for a little bit than one more year,” he said.
USR Chairman, Dan Barna: These bills are toxic
Save Romania Union (USR) Chairman, Dan Barna, said on Wednesday the President’s decision confirms that these bills are toxic and that the process of destroying the judiciary and confiscating justice by the PSD will be blocked.
“By these decisions, President Iohannis confirms what USR said a year ago, that these laws are toxic and they actually unequivocally assault the rule of law,” Barna said.
He added that PSD has carried out attacks on justice in an ‘organised and structured way’ during the past year.
Barna argues that the referral of the laws to the CCR is a good decision.
“Also, the notification of the Venice Commission (…) is a good thing, and confirms the fact that, if the civic society is involved and the opposition is involved in defending justice, there is a chance for Romania and for the judiciary to avoid becoming a toy for Mr. Dragnea and for other criminally convicted politicians, such as Mr. Valcov,” the USR leader said.
Dan Barna claims the President’s steps will delay and block the dissolution of the judiciary.
Journalist C. T. Popescu: The President knew Dancila is a nullity
Journalist Cristian Tudor Popescu said the head of state has the tendency to vanish for some time, during this time PSD makes mistakes, then he comes out to score points with the public opinion.
“This decisions comes to complete the request for resignation addressed to Mrs. Viorica Dancila, it is part of the election campaign started by Mrs. Klaus Iohannis. After three years of term, we have begun to identify his style. He vanishes for a while and his supporters wonder why he does not intervene. Then, when he decides the adversaries have made enough errors, enough negative issues, stupidities and infamies, he comes on the attack. The same happened with Mrs. Viorica Dancila. He knew she is a nullity, and yet he accepted her as Premier, he waited for three months for all to see and now he is trying to capitalize on her behalf,” Popescu said.
In regard to the laws of justice, the journalist said the package of laws is “an attempt to protect the party and state thieves.”
Popescu also believes that the laws will be partially invalidated by the CCR.