Romania's president Klaus Iohannis, in a public speech on March 28, announced that he would convene a referendum on May 26 (the day of the European elections).
The referendum is aimed at stopping the ruling party's assault on justice, according to Iohannis. The citizens have the sovereign right to decide whether they let corruption become state policy, Iohannis stressed.
The announcement came as the Government reportedly plans to amend by emergency ordinance (OUG) the justice laws, a move that president wants to prevent.
The European Commission has also explicitly warned the Government not to amend any more the justice laws by emergency ordinances and prime minister Viorica Dancila had a phone call with EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on March 28 on this topic. Dancila reportedly told Timmermans that the Government would not adopt the emergency ordinance on justice this week, local G4media.ro reported.
Moreover, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said in a TV interview that EC specialists would be given more time to analyze the proposed changes.
Meanwhile, PSD has been reportedly pressuring justice minister Tudorel Toader to sign the ordinance on justice, as Toader doesn't want to do that. The ruling party may even dismiss the justice minister if he continues to oppose the initiative, according to G4media.ro.
The Justice Ministry, on March 22, sent to the magistrates’ body CSM for reviewing a list of amendments to the Criminal Code, to the related procedures (Law 135/2010) as well as amendments to law 78/2000 on corruption offenses. Some magistrates’ organizations, quoted by Hotnews.ro, claim that, if enacted, the amendments “will result in a state of general impunity, particularly concerning serious crimes.”
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)
Romania’s Justice Ministry, on March 22, sent to the magistrates’ body CSM for reviewing a list of amendments to the...