Romania’s President asks Govt. once more to drop controversial justice bills
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis asked the Government for a second time to give up its intention to pardon thousands of convicted criminals and to change the criminal law saying that “the citizens’ voice can’t be ignored.”
“The Government can’t overcome the citizens’ will, which is sovereign. The people’s voice can’t be ignored any longer,” Iohannis wrote in a Facebook post.
“A solid democracy is one in which the majorities don’t abusively use their rights just because they temporary hold the power. I ask the Government to abandon their actions related to pardoning and changing the Penal Codes,” the President added.
He commented that Romania only has to lose from continuing this situation which has brought tens of thousands of Romanians to the streets. His new statement comes after some 90,000 Romanians protested on Sunday evening in Bucharest and other big cities against the Government’s bills on justice.
Justice minister Florin Iordache organized public consultations on the justice bills on Monday. Before the start of the consultations, he said that the two bills would be improved compared to the first drafts published on January 18. He added that rapists, criminals, and those convicted for corruption wouldn’t benefit from the pardon. He referred to the “draft law” on pardoning, although the Justice Ministry initially wanted these measures passed through emergency ordinances.
However, the minister hasn’t made a clear statement yet on how these measures would be approved as there are three options on the table: emergency ordinances approved by the Government, the Government assuming responsibility on these measures in front of the Parliament, and by laws voted in the Parliament.