Romanian PM waits for justice minister’s decision on justice bills
Romania’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeau doesn’t know what solution justice minister Florin Iordache will decide to follow to have the two bills on justice approved. He said that pardoning was included in his party’s governing program before the elections and that his cabinet would continue to implement the governing program, which brought his party the victory in the elections.
The Justice Ministry published two draft emergency ordinances on January 18. One of them refers to the pardoning of several categories of convicted criminals and the other aims to bring changes to the criminal law.
President Klaus Iohannis and key people in the justice system have expressed their opposition to these bills, which they think would undermine Romania’s fight against corruption. The Justice Ministry’s intention has also determined massive street protests.
While some 90,000 people were protesting in the streets in Bucharest and other big cities in Romania yesterday, Prime Minister Grindeanu said that he respected the people’s right to protests but that he thought many of the people were misinformed about the Government’s intentions with these bills. He spoke at Antena 3, one of the local TV stations which support the current parliamentary majority and the Government.
Grindeanu added that six weeks ago Romania had parliamentary elections, the best test in a democracy, which his party won with a governing program that his cabinet would implement.
He also said the prison pardon had been included in his party’s governing program under the “respect for the citizen” chapter. “This exists in the governing program: I’ve said in the Parliament that I wanted to live in a normal country with a normal justice system, where the law applies and the citizen knows that when he goes in front of a judge he is not in a position of inferiority to his accuser and that there is a strong balance,” Grindeanu explained.
He also said that the two draft bills, which are currently under public debate, could be improved. The PM added that the draft bill on pardon could be adopted in various ways, and all are legal. It could be passed through an emergency ordinance, or the Government could take the responsibility for it, or it could be sent to the Parliament to be approved by law.