The corruption cases involving the chairman of the Romanian ruling party, PSD, Liviu Dragnea, has again been in the international media’s limelight. This time, it’s been The Washington Post that focused its attention on the situation in Romania, comparing it to the one in Hungary and Poland.
In an editorial released on Sunday, the American prestigious newspaper talks about a decline of the democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, where populists are launching an assault against the rule of law.
Entitled “Democracy’s slow fade in Central and Eastern Europe”, the editorial says that “pluralist democratic norms are being subverted, and a slide toward authoritarianism is giving way to incipient authoritarianism” in such countries as Romania, Poland or Hungary.
The Washington Post writes that Liviu Dragnea has been sentenced twice for the charge of abuse of office and that the PSD has sprung to its leader’s defence by attempting “to water down anti-corruption laws”. “That represents a sharp blow to a decade of aggressive prosecutions of graft in that country, where it thrived for two decades following communism’s collapse,” the newspaper points out.
The editorial also says that Liviu Dragnea has taken refuge from the scandals stirred by its convictions and by the attempts to amend justice laws in order to decriminalize the abuse of office by portraying himself as a victim.
“Attacking the judiciary as a parallel state, he maintains that dark forces are arrayed against him; his allies, taking their cue from President Trump, liken Mr. Dragnea’s supposed persecution to the investigation of Russia’s role in Mr. Trump’s victory,” the editorial argues.