Senator Titus Corlatean of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) drew the attention of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding a series of "worrying" developments from the point of view of democracy recorded in Romania, among them the "abusive procedure" started by the governing party to dismiss the Ombudsman.
According to a release of the Senate, sent on Friday to AGERPRES, Titus Corlatean, Senate Vice President and member of the Romanian Parliament delegation to the PACE, has participated this week in the online meeting of the PACE Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy.
The meeting agenda featured, among other things, the draft report on "Democracies faced with COVID-19 pandemic" (rapporteur - Ian Liddell Granger, United Kingdom, European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance), document that proposes in essence an analysis of the way in which the authorities of the member-states of the Council of Europe have managed this health crisis, as well as the functioning of democratic institutions, including in regards to the role of Parliament in preserving democratic rules in this period, the release mentions.
According to the quoted source, Titus Corlatean had an intervention regarding this subject, in which he drew attention on the specific situations in member-states of the Council of Europe, "including in regards to a series of worrying developments from the point of view of democracy recorded in Romania and generated by the non-democratic conduct and temptation of abuse of power on the part of the Government." "He also emphasized the important role enshrined to Parliament to tarry these flare-ups of abuse of power on the part of the Executive and the exaggerated restrictions of the free exercise of fundamental rights and liberties. He expressed at the same time disapproval regarding the lack of information of Parliament regarding the measures taken by the Government and the non-transparent way to communicate of the responsible authorities regarding the real situation of persons tested for the novel coronavirus," the release shows.
The PSD senator "emphasized the unacceptable political attacks of the Prime Minister and the governing party on fundamental independent institutions of any democracy, referring especially to the political attacks aimed against the Constitutional Court, as well as the Ombudsman."
"In this sense, he referred to the abusive procedure started by the governing party to dismiss in Parliament the Ombudsman. In this context, he mentioned that the political attacks are explained by independent exercise of the legal duties of constitutional control by the Constitutional Court, which declared as unconstitutional several measures adopted by Government during the pandemic. Moreover, in the opinion of senator Corlatean, the independent exercise of the remits of the Ombudsman to defend the fundamental rights and freedoms, infringed upon repeatedly by the Government, has generated a profound dissatisfaction on the part of the government. The aspects notified by senator Corlatean have drawn the preoccupation of the members of the commission and will be examined and taken over by the British MP which will conclude his draft report," the release mentions.
The National Liberal Party (PNL) has submitted, in Parliament, the request to dismiss the Ombudsman.