President Iohannis: Romania’s rule of law, under grave threat by amnesty and pardon bill

Newsroom 06/01/2017 | 12:56

President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that the will vigorously oppose an amnesty and pardon bill, suggesting such a law would dent Romania’s anti-corruption efforts and would pose a serious threat to the country’s democracy.

Iohannis explained during the meeting of the Council of Superior Magistrates (CSM) that such a law would “wash the sins not only of thieves that can be dangerous for people, maybe even for the society, but it would also wash the files of politicians, it would be a catastrophe for the Romanian democracy”.

While making this comment, the head of state looked at the minister of Justice, Florin Iordache, who was attending the same meeting.

“With such a precedence created, the equality in front of the law would disappear. This is why I say it would lead to a disappearance of the rule of law. It would take Romania on a trajectory that would take it further away from the European values, on a path that would remove it from the Euro-Atlantic values in which Romanians have confidence,” said Iohannis, who acknowledged that his message could be interpreted as preventive.

The head of state added that it is already a “worrying circumstance” considering that the president of the Chamber of Deputies got a conviction and the head of Senate has been put on trial for perjury.

Chamber of Deputies head Liviu Dragnea, who is also the leader of left wing party PSD, and the president of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the co-chair of center right wing Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), are backing Romania’s new left wing government.

The PSD and ALDE have formed a new coalition and currently have a simple majority in Parliament. The two parties have an ongoing agreement with the Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the group of minorities in order to hold a firm grip on the draft bills that are voted in Parliament.

The PSD head said earlier this week that his party was not planning to attack the judiciary.

The Social Democrat senator Serban Nicolae said last summer that Romania needs an amnesty and pardon bill in a bid to solve the issue of the overcrowding of prisons and to prevent financial sanctions from the European Court of Human Rights due to poor conditions provided to incarcerated people.

Ovidiu Posirca

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