Monday, August 29, 2016


Romania's Top Court Says Government Threatening Rule Of Law

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta
By Eugen Tomiuc
Romania's Constitutional Court has accused leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta of trying to dismantle it and said it has notified EU authorities of threats to its independence.

Ponta, who is facing calls to resign over accusations of plagiarism, ignored a court ruling last week ordering that his political opponent center-right President Traian Basescu could represent Romania at a European Council meeting and traveled to Brussels regardless.

Attacks On Judiciary 

Ponta's ex-communist Social Democratic Party (PSD) has since threatened to replace some judges, accusing them of political bias.

The court said in a statement on July 3 that its judges "have noted the virulent attacks the court was subjected to by the government and other public institutions as well as propositions made to dismantle the court."
The statement said the court has appealed to a Council of Europe advisory body on constitutional matters.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding on July 3 said she was "seriously concerned" about attacks on the court's independence.

'Miners' Crackdown'

Also on July 3, PSD and his liberal ally, PNL, sacked the opposition speakers of both chambers of parliament in an escalating feud that has raised fears about the state of Romania's democracy.

Basescu, who has been at odds with Ponta's coalition since it took office in May after the previous center-right government fell following a no-confidence vote, urged his rivals to halt their attack against the rule of law.

Basescu likened the ex-communists' actions to the infamous miners' crackdown on Bucharest protesters in 1990, instigated by then-president Ion Iliescu, who is regarded as PSD's founding father.

Basescu warned that the final goal of Ponta's coalition was to impeach him and take control of the judiciary.

In a separate move on July 3, the government also sacked Romania's ombudsman, whom it accused of political bias.

U.S. Ambassador to Bucharest Mark Gitenstein reacted by saying he was “deeply concerned" by threats to the independence of Romania's democratic institutions.

The government's moves against the judiciary come after the Supreme Court, in a step hailed as ground-breaking  for the former communist country, sentenced ex-premier Adrian Nastase, Ponta's mentor and former boss, to two years in jail for corruption last month.

Accusations Of Plagiarism

Ponta's government has also triggered international condemnation after attempting to shift Romania's internationally recognized Cultural Institute (ICR) from under the presidency's patronage.

Ponta is at the center of a separate scandal after British science magazine "Nature" accused him of plagiarizing his doctoral thesis in 2003.

Ponta, who had vowed to lead Romania's "most honest government after 1989," has brushed off the accusation as a political attack originating from the presidency.
However, amid previous plagiarism scandals in the EU such as those which forced German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor Guttenberg and Hungarian President Pal Schmitt out of office recently, domestic and international pressure has been mounting on Ponta to resign.

Two education ministers from his government have already been forced out in succession since May after proof emerged that they had plagiarized their scientific papers and lied about their academic qualifications.

With additional reporting by Reuters and AFP
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Ellias from: Canada
July 04, 2012 19:29
This is something incredible: Romania is under the power of the worst mafia's servants at this time. The president should be helped by the world human rights: otherwise the Romanian country will be worst than Greece
This Ponta was the student of former Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase, who got jailed in May because of corruption: now this little monkey will destroy what was built in Romania after 1989 and after 15 years of PSD’s government. The president Basescu is the only president who wanted to show the world all the PSD’s corrupted members from Parliament and Government.
You Ponta should go beside your mentor in jail with all other corrupted mafia government and parliament people who don’t respect the Romanian Constitution and the law. Leave your dirty hands from Romania: this is not your country to do whatever you want to do. You are a simple bastard who destroys Romanian imagery in the world: you and the gypsies. You should go and suicide yourself: you should be ashamed if you still have a little honor in your head! A Romanian is saying this, which got sick of Romanian mafia and immigrated away from that corrupter country.

by: D Ionescu from: Auckland-New Zealand
July 05, 2012 03:00
PLEASE HELP ROMANINA AND SAVE IT DEMOCRACY. Actually my country is in the same situation which was in 1933 in Germany. The actual Prime Minister victor ponta and crin antonescu, use the same steps as well as hitler used to take the absolute power.

D Ionescu,
Auckland, New Zealand
In Response

by: Rupert Wolfe Murray from: Romania
July 14, 2012 19:56
At least Hitler was elected by his people.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 05, 2012 05:33
"Fears about the state of Romania's democracy"??? Strange, I thought that after having joined the EU - this community of nations blessed by God where everyone is happy and everything just always gets only better - Romania, Hungary and other CEECs were going to blossom like the lotus flower in the Spring. And what we are witnessing instead are (a) ever more salary cuts, (b) ever lower living standards for the population, and (c) "the creeping Putinization" as some Western "think"-tank recently caracterized the situation in the neighbouring Hungary.
Anyways, guys from the RFE/RL, you have done a great job promoting democracy in the region over the last 20 years - congratulation!
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 06, 2012 14:31
And don't forget that the movie Borat was filmed in Romania. That's because the glorious nation of Kazakhstan is modern and industrialized, while EU member Romania is an overgrown Gypsy village.

by: Cami from: Bucharest
July 05, 2012 06:37
This article has one big flaw: it laks balance. True, the coalition in power has taken some steps at the limit of the law but there's no mention of the blunt and repeted attacks of president Basescu on each and every institution in Romania, or the fapt that he replaced the heads of every public institution, or the fact that the leadership of the 2 chambers of Parlament did not reflect the new parlamentary majority anymore, or the fact that The Constitutional Court atributions had been extended by the former government in order to protect the president from beeing sacked, or the fact that every law passed by the Parlament ellected by the people, needed approval from a handful of people in the Constituional Court, or the fact that the law concerning the popular referendum was changed by the former political power and the same Constitutional Court controlled by the president, in order to protect the president form the popular will (the president is elected by 50% plus one of the people who express their vote, about 5 million, but in case of referendum on weather the president should go, it has to be 50% plus one of the people who have the right to vote, about 9 million!!!!!!!!!!). And the list of blunt attacks by the president and his party on the independence of justice and the managmement of public affairs in Romania could continue...But nobody cares to check the facts!!!!!!!!!
In Response

by: MB from: US
July 05, 2012 18:22
"At the limit of the law???" It has repeatedly *broken* the law and the constitution!!!

by: thealore from: Romania
July 06, 2012 12:11
This is a very nice circus, but the question is what is going on behind the scenes. Certainly, it points a lot further than national level. The answers lie in international hands.
In Response

by: Goe from: Europe
July 06, 2012 13:45
What is behind the scenes? Isn't it obvious?
It's nothing else than a desperate attempt to save Adrian Nastase (PSD leader) and Voiculescu (PC leader) from going to jail.

by: Eugen Tomiuc
July 06, 2012 14:06

Since you seem concerned about fact-checking:

The international community, and the EU in particular, has repeatedly commended the political power in Romania -- whether the Presidency or the center-right government -- for its steps to ensure an independent judiciary. I may remind you that when Romania was admitted into the EU there were reservations exactly because of the corruption and independence of the judiciary, areas where the EC had kept flags even after Romania became a member.

According to all experts and international officials, Romania has made huge strides in ensuring an independent judiciary since 2005.

The recent sentencing of former PM Nastase to jail for corruption has been seen as proof that Romania's judiciary has started working.

However, if you are in possession of clear evidence that violations of the rule of law have taken place, we will be more than willing to check and report. Thank you for your continued interest in RFE/RL.

by: S
July 16, 2012 15:11
All comments seem to be made by romanians. What's up guys, did you just relocated the anti-Basescu vs. pro-Basescu argue onto a foreign news site?


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