translated by: Alexandra Marinescu
2012. August 10. 16:03
"I am not defending a president’s chair, I am defending a European Romania » insisted the Romanian president Traian Băsescu . The procedure of suspending the Romanian president, the one and only goal of the USL government since its ascension to power, is an incarnation of its lack of respect for the Constitution.
In principle, the impeachment of the president was done almost naturally. However, upon examining the facts, one realizes that the USL have gone to anti-constitutional measures in order to reach their goal. Thus, an order stating that the Constitutional Court does not have the right to challenge a decision by Parliament has significantly reduced the powers of the supreme judicial body in favor of a largely socio-liberal elected Assembly.
A significant limitation of the powers of the Constitutional Court has been made in order to facilitate the suspension of the President. Moreover, Professor Ioan Stanimor had said at the time to AFP that "The current actions in Romania are well outside the constitutional rules. We are witnessing a suspension of the Constitution and its replacement by the arbitrary desire of a parliamentary majority”. In fact, the Parliament has tried to suspend a man who has fought for reforms in order to combat corruption, in accordance with European requirements and with positive results. While the document aiming for President Băsescu’s suspension accused him of violating the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, it is clear that it is rather the USL that has challenged the democracy.
*The Referendum of the 29th July 2012, a Questionable Organization
The most attentive noted that the date, whether chosen intentionally or not, has a significant historical resonance. July 29, 1947, the troops of Petru Groza eliminated the Romanian Peasant political party and put into place a communist regime. The date is significant and the historical events to which it refers are worth recalling.
As regards the referendum itself, it is important to understand that even its organization sparked numerous debates Even more so as the event wanted to be perceived as a clear and necessary procedure, if only to show the Romanian democracy is well functioning. The opening hours of the polls have been a hotly debated subject which eventually resulted in the decision of the Constitutional Court stating that the Romanians could come to the polls between 7 am. and 11 pm., unjustifiable especially in the Romanian countryside, where no one is on the road after 21:00. The time-frame clearly favored electoral fraud which is currently being revealed by police-investigations. Another problem was the large number of voting sections, particularly concerning the Romanian coast. All these actions had a clear purpose: to convince Romanians to vote so as to acquire the established quorum of 50% +1 needed to validate the referendum. However, voting is a right and not an obligation; to compel or even incite someone to vote is a crime. Thus Radu Mazăre, the mayor of Constanta (main port) has to answer to justice for having taken - maybe even forced - several girls to the polls.
*International Uproar towards the Policy of the USL
A few days before the referendum, José Manuel Barroso expressed concern about the political situation in the country, saying that "Romania is on a precipice." Against the "allegations of pressure and intimidation," the President of the European Commission emphasized the need to preserve the powers of the Constitutional Court in order to respect the independence of judges. "In this context, it is of paramount importance to allow the Constitutional Court itself to clarify its position, if it considers it necessary, and all other parties should refrain from making their own interpretation”, he said. Thus the report on justice made by the European Commission in July was entirely destroyed over the course of a few days during which the USL committed serious indiscretions. This despite the fact that Romania has made significant efforts in terms of justice and the fight against corruption in recent years, especially with regards to the conviction of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase.
*An Unsuccessful Impeachment
Participation in the referendum was at 46.23%, where 87.52% of voters voted for the impeachment of the President. Quorum was not met, the Romanians had expressed their desire to keep the President Băsescu by their silence and he will thus remain at the Cotroceni Palace. "The Romanians rejected the coup of 256 parliamentarians led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta and interim president Crin Antonescu. Romanians have determined their fate by invalidating the referendum, "said the President at the announcement of the results. The Chairman has resumed his duties, still committed to the European course to which he has always been so attached.
The cohabitation will continue with the hope that the Socialists and the Liberals will finally focus on the real problems that Romania is facing, in particular by implementing the promised social reforms. The best solution would be for the political forces to unite in order to find solutions to the financial crisis and its consequences for Romania, especially by seeking solutions to the socio-economic problems for which the people have paid the price.