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PM Orban: I signed 'No Convicts in Public Office' initiative, we back enshrining integrity into law

Inquam Photos - George Călin
Inquam Ludovic Orban Parlament

Attending on Monday the Prime Minister's Question Time, PM Ludovic Orban told the Chamber of Deputies' plenum that he is a signatory of the 'No Convicts in Public Office' initiative, and that the National Liberal Party (PNL) supports any project that enshrines into law integrity in the exercise of public office.

"As far as the 'No Convicts' initiative is concerned, (...) I am a signatory thereof and even more than that, we have included the 'No Convicts' initiative in the draft for the revision of the Constitution following the referendum called by President Iohannis on May 26, 2019, whereby the Romanians have had their say - namely to stop the assault on Justice. We have also announced that we support any project to enshrine in the Romanian Constitution integrity in exercising public office," Orban told the plenary meeting.

He made it clear that none of the Liberals who have been accused of corruption is a party member any more, whereas by contrast, the Social Democrats have "built a wall" around their party fellows targeted by criminal investigations.

"As for the names listed by the representatives of the Social Democratic Party, none of them is still a PNL member. Unlike you, who, in 90 percent of the cases where the anti-corruption prosecutors requested the start of a criminal investigation, have built a wall around your colleagues to hamper the investigation. Ever since 2014 the PNL has systematically voted openly in favor of the requests of the judiciary and has not created a wall around the corrupt precisely in order to allow the judiciary to conduct its own investigative procedures, on the principle that no one is above the law. And we have done this in the case of several of our colleagues for whom the criminal investigation has continued, while here, sitting in this hall or in Parliament, there are colleagues of yours for whom the criminal investigation could not be finalised because the majority led by PSD refused to give its consent for this," the Premier argued.

He also referred to Parliament appointing Niculae Badalau and Ilie Sarbu as vice-presidents of the Court of Accounts, in an obvious case of favoritism.

"Also in connection with the Court of Accounts, let me remind you that you voted a law amending the Court of Accounts statutes after which the European Commission notified us that we risk seeing payments of all European funds suspended due to the violation of the autonomy of the Audit Authority, and that we challenged the law adopted by Parliament in the Constitutional Court. I have nothing against public institutions, I only take issue with people who embarrass the respective institutions and who act in breach of the Constitution or overstep the legal powers of the institutions and who further respond to political orders," Orban added.

He mentioned that it's a disgrace for some political leaders to base their accusations against him on an "allegation taken from the newspaper, which has nothing to do with reality".

Chairman of the Save Romania Union Dan Barna on Monday asked Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and Chamber of Deputies' Speaker Marcel Ciolacu to call the 'No Convicts in Public Office' referendum concomitantly with the local elections this September.

"Mr. Orban, show us, and try to be credible, that the dirty deal that happened at Unifarm is just an accident or a blunder and that this is not what the PNL wants to do and continues to do. Therefore, I am asking you that the party you represent supports the organization of the 'No Convicts in Public Office' referendum concomitantly with the local elections. It is a natural, normal way of sending a credible message to the citizens and it would be a moral reparation for all the Romanians who signed in good faith, believing that Parliament will understand that we cannot continue like this,'' Barna said in the Chamber of Deputies' plenary meeting, at the 'Prime Minister's Question Time'.

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