EXCLUSIVE The real stakes of the government reshuffle: the adoption of the emergency decree on amnesty and pardon. A two-step plan
Liviu Dragnea wants to remove Paul Stănescu from the Government in order to eliminate the last opponents to an emergency decree on amnesty and pardon. He also wants to simplify the procedure for the adoption of normative acts so as to eliminate the ministries’ opinions, and to promote amnesty and pardon as soon as possible through emergency decree, several sources in the party told G4Media.ro.
Stănescu was not on Prime Minister Dancila’s list on Monday concerning a government reshuffle. Initially, she expressed her intention to keep the Minister of Development in the Government. Thus, Liviu Dragnea is thought to have arranged for a party leader to ask for Stanescu’s resignation at the Executive Committee (CEX) meeting on Monday, which actually occurred: Marian Oprisan – leader of PSD Vrancea – destroyed Stanescu during the meeting. According to the quoted sources, Codrin Ştefănescu also contributed to the character assassination.
Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă has so far refused to sign the emergency decree on amnesty and pardon and is alleged to have informed Dragnea at the end of September that she would not accept enacting this normative act. It is equally alleged that this outright refusal lead to a cooling off between the two, and Dăncilă refused to answer the PSD leader’s phone calls for almost ten days. The relationship between them is said to have further deteriorated because of PSD leader’s intention to launch press campaigns against her.
In her stand off with Dragnea, Dăncilă is thought to have relied on the group of the putschists, especially Paul Stănescu. The Minister of Development is alleged to have helped Dăncilă avoid the adoption of the emergency decree which the PSD leader has been constantly demanding.
Note that Viorica Dăncilă said on Wednesday evening that she abstained during the vote in the Executive Committee (CEx), which decided to remove Paul Stănescu – deputy prime minister and minister for development – from office. „This was my choice, but at the same time, I must tell you that I must respect the vote in the CEX. We are a political government, „Dăncilă said.
The purpose of setting up blindly obedient ministers in the government would be to implement changes that would allow for the swift adoption of an emergency decree on amnesty and pardon by eliminating Ministerial Opinions. This is and older plan, unveiled by G4Media.ro on August 23rd.
On 22 September, Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă defied Liviu Dragnea in a session of the PSD Executive Committee, announcing that Romania is in danger of having Article 7 (suspension of voting in the EU Council) activated against it, should the government amend Government Decision 561 in 2009, which establishes the vetting process of initiating, endorsing and adopting any act of the government, sources told G4Media.ro.
Practically, Dragnea wants to remove the current structures of the ministries from this process since they have often prevented the adoption of illegal or substandard acts by ministers.
In a document released to the press at the Neptun CEX on September, PSD has publicly announced that it wanted to eliminate the ministries’ mandatory opinions which are normally involved in a draft normative act procedure (emergency ordinance, simple ordinance or government decision) This is attested by an official party document handed over to the press by the communications department, and presented at the meeting of the Neptun Executive Committee.
In the „Administrative Simplification” section the document foresees that the Executive will amend the current legislation in October by an Emergency Decree. Here are two of the main changes announced by PSD:
- Elimination of the compulsory opinions of some institutions / ministries involved in a draft normative act
- Simplify the gathering of internal approvals and of inter institutional correspondence
We are talking about a two-step procedure. Step one: change GD 561. Step two: The Government decides ad hoc, in one of the sessions, to adopt the emergency decree on amnesty and pardon. One of the ministers would initiate the normative act, and the Secretary General of the Government, Toni Grebla, would send it quickly to the Official Gazette. The emergency decree will come into force quickly, and its effects can not be canceled, even if the decision is subsequently withdrawn.
The scale of the pardon is now disputed. Some want pardon for offenses punished by up to five years of prison, others want this threshold to be higher, up to ten years, which would benefit as many people as possible.
Even if the emergency decree on amnesty and pardon is in force for just one minute, Dragnea escapes the conviction already received and the trials in progress. The effects of the decree can not be abolished, as the principle of the more favorable law is applied in criminal law.
On September 5, G4Media.ro has written that PSD leader Liviu Dragnea forced the change of the head of the General Secretariat of the Government, Andreea Lambru, backed by ALDE. Placing Grebla in this position took place as a preparatory step for the adoption of the emergency decree on amnesty and pardon.
At this time it is unclear what Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă and of Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader’s positions will be.
So far, Minister Toader – supported by ALDE – has opposed the adoption of the emergency decree, but it is unclear whether he will maintain his position and, anyway, it will no longer matter since the Ministry of Justice opinion will no longer be needed, according to the new procedure.
Governments Grindeanu and Tudose were removed because of the emergency decree on amnesty (masked as the decriminalization of abuse of service) and pardon. The two refused to sign the rescue decree for the PSD leader, with the exception of Grindeanu, who signed the now famous Emergency Decree 13 in February 2017, overturned before it came into force after the most extensive protests recorded after ’89.
The last attempt to adopt the Emergency Decree on amnesty and pardon was registered during the extraordinary Parliamentary session in July.
Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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