Romania is poised for political changes, with a referendum to change its constitution on the cards for the fall of 2013. The first preparations for these changes are already being made – the ruling coalition the Social Liberal Union (USL) already mentioned the person whom they think should lead the commission that will change the Constitution: Crin Antonescu (in picture), the leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL).
Antonescu, a former interim president of Romania while the current president Traian Basescu was suspended in 2012, is currently the head of Senate and USL’s announced candidate in the upcoming presidential race in 2014. Antonescu would lead a commission tasked with revising the role of the President – as mentioned in the Constitution, the mechanism for nominating the Prime Minister by the President, and finding ways to stop political defections. The PM representing Romania at the European meetings will also be among the novelties in the Constitution, and would solve possible quarrels between the president and the PM, as occurred in 2012.
“We will have a president like all the countries we’re looking at – and I am referring to Poland and Austria – a presidential arbitrator,” said Prime Minister Victor Ponta. The idea of the president as arbitrator comes to support something that has been highlighted as the current president’s shortcoming, that he is too much of a president – player. In the new version of the Constitution, the President will remain in control of the country’s external policy, the commander of the armed forces and the country’s representative in international relations.
The Constitutional revision commission will be made of a representative of the Presidential Administration, one from the Government, one from the Constitutional Court and one form the Superior Court of Magistrates. The Commission will have to finish its task by the beginning of May 2013, and the Parliament is expected to cast its vote on the project sometime in May – June, while the referendum to ratify the changes will take place in September – October.
This constitutional commission will not be the only body to suggest changes to the Constitution. Another, comprising NGOs, associations and representatives of the academic area will also be created.
(photo source: presidency.ro)