Romanian Senate president: No emergency ordinance for criminal code changes
The changes to the criminal codes will be made by parliamentary procedure and not by emergency ordinance issued by the government, according to Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the president of the Romanian Senate and the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the junior coalition partner of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
“We have not discussed any emergency ordinance to amend the criminal codes. I’m telling you, officially: we will go exclusively by parliamentary procedure,” Tariceanu said after a meeting with PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and prime minister Viorica Dancila, local Digi24 reported.
He also said that they’ve talked about that fact that minister of justice Tudorel Toader needs to draft a document that the Foreign Ministry and the European Affairs Ministry will then communicate to partners.
“This document will be clearly aimed at summarizing the amendments we are going to adopt on the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Criminal Code. I believe that a fair, objective information is needed of what is being pursued in Parliament.”
Justice minister Toader said on Monday morning, June 25, that he hasn’t been consulted on the possibility to issue an emergency ordinance to amend the criminal codes. He added that he was not in Bucharest in the past few days.
On Friday afternoon, June 22, in a first reaction after having been convicted to three years and six months in prison for instigation to abuse of office, the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said that adopting the criminal code changes by normal procedure in the Parliament is no longer possible because all the projects of PSD-ALDE are being blocked. He also said the Social Democrats will “be more firm and radical” with what they have to do.
“I ask the thousands of Romanians, some of whom are now in jail due to an unconstitutional article while others have been dragged through court based on the same soviet article, to forgive me. I apologize for the long delay in changing the criminal code,” he said.
The leader of the opposing party Save Romania Union (USR), Dan Barna, warned that PSD may try to pass the changes to the criminal code, which are now under debate in the Parliament, by emergency ordinance, which would have them enforced immediately. The idea that PSD may try to accelerate the adoption procedure led to big street protests in Romania.
Irina Marica, firstname.lastname@example.org