June 12, 2018

Ruling PSD says Constitutional Court’s authority undermined by President Iohannis’s irresponsible statements
Jun 12, 2018

Ruling PSD says Constitutional Court’s authority undermined by President Iohannis’s irresponsible statements.
The main ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) believes that the recent statements made by President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in reference to the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) regarding the resolution of the conflict between the Justice Minister and the President, undermine the CCR's authority, adding that the Court's decisions are mandatory, not be debated upon. 'PSD deems that the recent statements of President Klaus Iohannis referring to the Decision of Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) regarding the resolution of the conflict between the Justice Minister and the President represent a very serious assault on the constitutional order in Romania. The President's intent to discuss, in a public debate, the CCR's ruling is an act of aggression against this fundamental body for the democratic system in Romania. The CCR's decisions are final and generally mandatory - they are enforced, not discussed! In the President Iohannis' logic, any decision of any court in Romania can be called into question, instead of being immediately carried out,' a release by PSD sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday informs. PSD adds that the CCR is the only body empowered to set the correct interpretation of the fundamental Law and 'nobody else, neither the President, nor any other authority of the state, not even the civil society has the right to act as a substitute for the CCR's authority in order to give verdicts with regard to the observance of the Romanian Constitution.' 'Therefore, the statements of President Iohannis are tantamount to an appeal to noncompliance with the laws and courts of law in Romania. Following the President Iohannis's model, any citizen can delay by own will the enforcement of a legal obligation, of a fine or a sentence on the grounds that they want to better understand the reasoning of those who have issued the sanction. It is inadmissible that President Iohannis implies that the CCR ruling would question the prosecutors' independence. In its reasoning, the CCR explicitly states: 'The control of the Justice Minister consists in checking the managerial efficiency, of the way the prosecutors are accomplishing their job attributions (...). The control cannot address the measures mandated by the prosecutor during the criminal prosecution and the criminal solutions. "Nobody, neither the Constitutional Court, nor the parliamentary majority, nor the Justice Minister and no one else has for one moment questioned the prosecutors' independence in the administration of the cases. Besides, the new Justice Laws themselves adopted with the vote of the PSD+ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, minor at rule, ed.n.] majority, explicitly guarantee the prosecutors' independence in operating their cases. The amendment introduced to the Law no. 303 on the magistrates' statute: Art. 3 para 1^1: 'Prosecutors are independent in mandating their solutions, under the conditions laid down by Law no. .304/2004 on the judicial organization, republished, with the subsequent modifications and completions,' PSD underscored. According to PSD, the President's insinuation that somebody would like to meddle in the prosecutors' independence is a deliberate action to mislead the public opinion in Romania, 'which is unspeakable in relation to the position of President of the Republic.' PSD also deems that 'President Iohannis's statement that the PSD or the CCR are looking to 'amputate his attributions fall within the same register of misinformation and intoxication of the Romanian citizens.' 'Something that does not exist cannot be severed. Romania's Constitution gives no role to the President of Romania in revoking the chief prosecutors. So, it is a lie that his constitutional attributions have supposedly been narrowed through an approach of the PSD or the CCR's rulings. On the contrary, the CCR acknowledges the role of the President in verifying the legality of the removal procedure of a chief prosecutor. In exchange, the CCR removes the refusal of the President, at the whim of a removal request. If a chief prosecutor has violated the legal conditions regarding their job, then that chief prosecutor has to be removed, because the law says so! The likes of President Iohannis cannot be above the law! That is why he cannot refuse a request for legal revocation! Thus, it is only President Iohannis' whim which is severed, and under no circumstances his constitutional attributions,' PSD argued. PSD is condemning 'the ironic statements of President Iohannis regarding the Parallel State' which in his opinion would be 'but a mere tale.' 'The secret agreements by which the justice has been subordinated to the secret services is a real thing, not a tale. The abuses by prosecutors Lucian Onea and Mircea Negulescu 'Orange' which are now being criminally investigated are a reality, not a story! The rulings of certain courts of law that have denied DNA (anti-graft directorate) files on the grounds that evidence was fabricated or wiretapping was distorted, these are not tales, but a very palpable reality. The acquittals in the big political files, depending on the political agenda of the elected, are also a reality and not a fable. The political shortsightedness of Mr. Iohannis regarding all these severe abuses seriously questions his decision-making autonomy, in particular when the DNA confirmed the kicking off of a prosecution in a file that directly regards the President of Romania,' the PSD release adds. PSD stresses that in other recommendations addressed to Romania, the Venice Commission has clearly specified that, although the political decision-makers have the freedom to critically comment on the CCR rulings, they have the obligation to specify that they will comply with them, even if they disagree with them - a fundamental rule for the constitutional order of a democratic state which Iohannis has chosen to disobey immediately after the meeting with the Venice Commission's representatives. President Klaus Iohannis stated earlier on Tuesday when asked how long it will take him to make a decision regarding the possible removal from office of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) head, Laura Codruta Kovesi that he needs to react within a reasonable time frame. "I need to react within a reasonable time frame, we cannot wait, for example, until December. But I don't believe anyone really expects from me to mechanically enforce a decision in a day or two. I repeat, I do not wish we end up in a state based on an empty shell but I wish, since these issues have surfaced now, to hold a debate, to discuss, to get this clear before we take a step," Iohannis said.AGERPRES(RO - author: Catalina Matei, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Maria Voican, editor: Simona Iacob)
[Read the article in Agerpres]

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