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Opposition tables constitution revision draft

facebook/ Raluca Turcan
Raluca Turcan

The parliamentary opposition parties on Monday lodged a constitution revision draft that transposes the outcome of a May 26 referendum on justice matters and fully complies with the National Pact on Romania's European Path initiated by President Klaus Iohannis, according to National Liberal Party (PNL) MP Raluca Turcan.

"This draft aims to make amnesty and pardon impossible; we are talking about collective as well as individual amnesty and pardon as currently provided by the Constitution. Under the same draft, government emergency ordinances would be diminished in abundance, because we have developed organisations that can raise constitutional objections over emergency ordinances. Last but not least, as requested at the signing of the pact initiated by President Klaus Iohannis, integrity in public office is provided for in this draft for the public institutions of Romania and the European Parliament," Turcan said at the Parliament House.

According to her, the Constitutional Court (CCR) will check the draft for constitutionality, after which the Opposition hope a debate of the draft by articles will be possible in the new parliamentary session.

"It has to pass the first chamber by two thirds of the votes and the second one also by two thirds. If there is no coincidence of votes and forms, a mediation procedure will be used at a plenary session of Parliament and a three-quarter vote is called. After that vote, a referendum may be called on the revision of the Constitution, and we hope it will be organised as quickly as possible by the end of this year," added Turcan.

She said the draft stood great chances of success, given that the statements of majority party Social Democratic Party (PSD) are in line with the provisions of it. Provisions include diminishing abusive ruling by emergency ordinances and no amnesty and pardon for acts of corruption.

Save Romania Union (USR) national chairman Dan Barna said that the revision referendum would be a "first step" that included the priorities of the past two-three years in Romania, mentioning to the point the May 26 successful referendum and an initiative to ban criminally convicted politicians from holding public offices.

"I say it is a first step because Romania needs a wider constitutional reform and we are convinced that after early or on-time elections we will have a majority without PSD, by which Romania will be able to get better, and we will go ahead with the other proposals that call for a reform of CCR, extended powers of confiscation, state reform - all the components by which Romania has to practically modernise its Constitution ... (...) It is a very good opportunity for PSD to prove that it not only mimics the healing and return to democracy, but it also does so in compliance with the May 26 will of the citizens," Barna said.

The proposals for a revision of the Constitution transposes the results of the May 26 referendum and are in line with the national political pact to strengthen the European path of Romania, initiated by President Klaus Iohannis and signed by the opposition parties, according to Turcan. The draft was signed by all PNL and USR MPs, as well as the MPs of the People's Movement Party (PMP) and nine MPs of the Pro Romania party.

Thus, granting amnesty or pardon to persons convicted of acts of corruption would be banned, along with individual pardoning by the President for such acts, and integrity for holding a public office would be laid down in the Constitution. Citizens convicted of intentional crimes would not be able to run in parliamentary, local, European or presidential elections. According to the same draft, any abuse of emergency ordinances would be stopped, and the emergency ordinances would be subject to constitutionality checks at the request of the President of Romania, the Supreme Court of Justice, 50 MPs, 25 senators or the Ombudsman.

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