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Traian Basescu broke the Social-Liberal Union (USL) to block the new Constitution

Postat la: 19.03.2014 - 10:52 | Scris de: Ziua News


Victor Ponta's plan, after Traian Basescu's success in blocking the promotion of the new Constitution by breaking Crin Antonescu's USL, is to gather all the right-wing groups around Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Along Tariceanu and two more important Liberals, Ponta will be able to give a new Constitution to the people, thus turning Romania from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic. Therefore, should the new Constitution pass, Traian Basescu will remain in history as the last dictator.

By Voichita Rascanu, Ruana Ceausescu

Traian Basescu fought so hard against the Social-Liberal Union (USL) in an attempt to block the revision of the Constitution, hiding behind his political battle the desire to maintain the President's privileges and to block the transformation of our country into a parliamentary republic, thus often allowing the Presidential Administration, Government or Constitutional Court to avoid the Parliament in decision-taking processes. All alliances the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) would have tried upon the break-up with the National-Liberal Party (PNL) failed in terms of Constitution revision, bringing up the chauvinism card and creating artificial and unnecessary disputes between Romanians and Hungarians. Meanwhile, the destruction of the right-wing groups, as practised in the 1990s by Ion Iliescu following the "divide et impera" principle, would have allowed Basescu to rally these politicians around him like a safety belt.

Traian Basescu made sure that the Constitution revision project would be "silenced" by the very measures he took for breaking up the USL. ZIUAnews exclusively revealed that Crin Antonescu, the PNL Chairman, decided the dissolution of the USL upon three private meetings with the Head of State, when Basescu presented him with two pieces of evidence proving the clear and certain intention of Victor Ponta and his Social-Democratic Party not to support and endorse the PNL leader in the presidential race. One of the evidence items was a survey poll ordered and coordinated by Liviu Dragnea, showing that Romanians actually want Ponta as President of Romania, while the other evidence item was apparently an audio taping proving as well that the current PM does not support the PNL leader. Thus, a political agreement has been reached between Traian Basescu and Crin Antonescu, meant to destroy the USL and subsequently Victor Ponta.

USL, Basescu's political assassin

After Antonescu broke the USL alliance, Calin Popescu Tariceanu became the main critic of the Liberal leader. This was the actual moment when the second player entered the game, Tariceanu, as the reply of PSD to the backstage manoeuvres of new duo Antonescu-Basescu.
According to the initial plan, Tariceanu should have broken the PNL upon the European Parliament elections; at this moment, Calin Popescu Tariceanu plays the role of the politician that attempts to create a new USL especially after the European Parliament elections, when Antonescu's Liberals are likely to obtain unsatisfactory results. Thus, Tariceanu has the support of the current Social-Liberal Union, the first step being the appointment of Tariceanu as Head of the Senate, the most important position lost by PNL when Antonescu resigned.

The success of Victor Ponta, on creating a new Social-Liberal Union along a National Liberal Party run by Calin Popescu Tariceanu will be simply the political termination of Traian Basescu, the actual reason for creating the initial USL and of 60% of Romanians who voted for this political union in the parliamentary elections.

"The USL goals are to show that common effort is needed to end the Basescu regime and to make Romania a prosperous country. It is my opinion that Mr. Tariceanu has the experience of being the second leader as importance in our country and, should he be asked to replace Basescu, he will do a great job, and I am not talking about a hypothetical situation but about provisions of the Constitution. In politics it is not about making gifts, it is about having a common political vision. I have no interest in attacking the image or reputation of PNL, they have been an essential partner and I am confident they will become again, in the post-Basescu age. Mr. Tariceanu shares values of both PNL and USL, he was one of the important USL leaders. Along with Adrian Nastase, Mr. Tariceanu endorsed my economic programme when I was in Oppostion. I would work very well with a President like Tariceanu, Isarescu or Oprescu. I still have to debate with Antonescu to decide several issues on the revision of the Constitution and decentralization", Victor Ponta declared upon the appointment of Tariceanu as Chairman of the Senate.

Basescu and his political isolation

After the separation from the Democrat Liberal Party, Traian Basescu created in the Cotroceni Palace undergrounds the so-called Popular Movement Party gathering his main proteges around him, many of which are prosecuted in criminal cases. Although political manoeuvres have been used to attract voters, Basescu cannot enjoy a potential success of PMP in elections.

As for the other right-wing party, PNL, the gambler President chose to take the part of Crin Antonescu for a limited time to tear the USL apart, which he has already succeeded. Basescu isolated the Liberal leader from the rest of his party when Antonescu trusted the President more than his USL partners. However, the Head of State lost all support among the Liberals who, as shown above, are likely to follow Calin Popescu Tariceanu into a new version of USL.

Already abandoned by the right-wingers, Basescu's activity as a politician after the presidential elections will be close to nill in a democratic state.

Back-up solution with the minorities

Victor Ponta took an important political step to prevent attacks from Basescu in an attempt to revise the Constitution along with the UDMR partners who are likely to ask for more rights to the Hungarian minority stipulated by the Constitution: he withdrew the revision of the Constitution from the new political program. More, following two attacks from Basescu and the PDL meant to block the Referendum Law for as long as possible, the 30% attendance required for the validation of the referendum will only become effective upon the termination of the current President's mandate, thus giving additional reasons to the current Power to start the revision of the Constitution solely after the presidential elections.

By the creation of a new USL run by Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the minorities' political parties will remain political partners in order to provide a stable majority in the Parliament that endorses the Ponta Government bills.

Victor Ponta has never attacked the National Liberal Party, not even after the breakup of the Social Liberal Union by Crin Antonescu. Ponta repeatedly stated that his intention is to restore the Social Liberal Union, called the Liberals "partners" and expressed his wish to form a Government together again, either before or after the presidential elections. Victor Ponta's support for the creation of a new USL was also seen when asking for a USL Senator to become Head of Senate but not from PSD.

"I would like to have the PNL MPs by our side in our common projects and I do not think they would vote against the revision of the Constitution, the decentralisation or economic projects. I hope that, sooner or later, we shall form a government together again, I consider the Liberals our permanent partners in the projects we started together. I would like to repeat that I am completely open to restoring USL", Ponta said.

"It is my belief that the most successful project and our first option is the restoration of USL and, as long as PSD is able to, we shall support a Liberal candidate. I would work very well with Mr. Tariceanu, as I would with Mr. Antonescu or any other USL member who is in for cooperation", stated the PM.

"The restoration of USL is being attempted, we do not attempt to break anything", Ponta declared in reply to the allegations of Crin Antonescu according to which a breakup of PNL from the inside is attempted by supporting Tariceanu as Head of Senate. "I shall say it again as I said it in the past, Mr. Antonescu has been a great political partner in doing incredibly important things for this country and I shall never reply to such allegations or attacks because the people who voted for us together would be very disappointed to see it. I think Mr. Antonescu will cease the attacks too", added the PM. More, when asked whether he would keep his "open arms", Ponta replied: "always for USL."

Basescu terminated his own governments

During Traian Basescu's two mandates as President, Romania was run by 14 governments. There were two attempts of the Head of State to appoint his proteges as PM, but they did not pass the Parliament. Emil Boc was by far the longest serving PM, that the opposition tried to bring down 10 times by motions of no-confidence.

It is worth mentioning that Traian Basescu himself tried and managed to terminate Boc Governments repeatedly by government reshuffle, political statements disfavouring the PM he had appointed or by negotiations that resulted in the resignation of Boc as PM and his re-election as President of the Liberal Democrat Party. During the six Boc Governments Basescu tried to replace the PM with Lucian Croitoru and Liviu Negoita. However, he was forced to reconsider his alternatives after no-confidence votes were given by the Parliament.

In support of the above ideas we shall remind our readers one of the public statements of Basescu in January 2012 disfavouring Emil Boc, prior to the resignation of the latter as PM and his replacement with Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, another of the President's proteges: "I hereby invite all the parliamentary parties to negotiate on choosing a technocrat whom I shall appoint to form a Government of specialists, government that will run the country in this year so important for strengthening our economy. I also ask the political parties to grant the new government a political moratorium publicly assumed in front of our citizens for the duration of the government mandate up to the elections."

Basescu will not stand his constitutional powers reduced

President Traian Basescu was deeply irritated by the USL project to revise the Constitution, not by potentially damaging provisions to the people but because he felt disadvantaged as President. ZIUAnews will run a comparison of the current articles in the Constitution with the articles in the new Constitution draft, thus proving that the sole problem Basescu may have with the new Constitution is a reduced amount of tasks and powers to the President. More, Basescu finds it very unpleasant that in the new Constitution the state obligations to its citizens will be equally important as the citizens' obligations to the state.

Basescu's proof of constitutional sorrow: "The President's tasks and roles are limited to such an extent that it makes me believe there is a dirty hidden agreement somewhere which is regulated by the Constitution, like <<Be our candidate, we shall make you a President, doesn't matter that you will be useless. The PM and Parliament majority will have all the power, but you will be President.>> (...) In my opinion as a politician with many years of experience behind me, I can notice that the power of the President is much limited. One should not elect a President just to have him as a puppet at the Cotroceni Palace with the sole role of appointing Chiefs of Secret Services who can be easily turned down by the Parliament in favour of their own nominees", Basescu said.

Article No. 44 of the effective Constitution:

(1) The property right and the state receivable are guaranteed, the content and limitations hereof being regulated by laws.

The Constitution revision draft:

Article No. 44 Line 1 will be amended and will comprise the following: "The property right and the state receivable are guaranteed. The state receivable will have the same legal regime with payment of financial duties, as established by the law."

Article No. 67

The Chamber of Deputies pass laws, decisions and votes in the presence of the majority of their members.

Article No. 67 of the Constitution revision draft will comprise, in addition, the following: "The Senate and Chamber of Deputies verify the compliance of the bills with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles established through the EU constitutional treaties as stipulated by the organic law.

(2) The Senate and Chamber of Deputies will express opinions on the positions to be taken by Romania within the EU decision-making process.

(3) The Senate and Chamber of Deputies will pass bills with the vote of the majority of the present members with a view to meeting the required conditions of Line No. 1 and Line No. 2.

Article No. 75

The effective Constitution:

(1) The Chamber of Deputies will debate and pass, as First Chamber, the bills on the ratification of treaties, other international agreements, the legislative measures resulted from the eforcement thereof and the organic law bills as stipulated by Article No. 31 Line No. 5, Article No. 40 Line No. 3, Article No. 55 Line No. 2, Article No. 58 Line No. 3, Article No. 73 Line No. 3 e), k), l), n), o), Article No. 79 Line No. 2, Article No. 102 Line No.3, Article No. 105 Line No. 2, Article No. 117 Line No. 3, Article No.118 Line No. 2 and 3, Article No. 120 Line No. 2, Article No. 126 Line No. 4 and 5 and Article No. 1442 Line No. 5. All other bills or legislative projects will be debated and passed by the Senate as First Chamber.

(2) The First Chamber will pass or reject the bill within 45 days and, in cases of codes or highly complex laws, within 60 days. Should the 45-day or 60-day terms be not met, the bills will be considered adopted.

(3) The bill, upon being adopted or rejected by the First Chamber, is sent to the Second Chamber that will make the final decision.

(4) Should the First Chamber adopt a provision for which, according to Line No. 1, it has sole competence, the provision is ultimately adopted provided that the Second Chamber agrees. Should the Second Chamber disagree, the law is returned to the First Chamber for the respective provision, which will make the ultimate decision in an emergency procedure.

(5) The provisions of Line No. 4 on the return of the law are also applicable when the Chamber empowered adopts provisions for which the competence belongs to the First Chamber.

The Constitution revision draft:

"The Senate appoints or elects, as the case may be, in the terms stipulated by the law or own regulations (...) the heads of the intelligence services".

Article No. 83

The effective Constitution: "The mandate of the President of Romania has a duration of five years as of the oath of office".

The Constitution revision draft: "The mandate of the President of Romania has a duration of four years as of the oath of office".

Article No. 85

(1) The president of Romania will nominate a candidate for Prime-Minister and appoints the Government members based on the vote of confidence given by the Parliament.

(2) In case of government reshuffling or vacancy of a certain position the President revokes and appoints, as proposed by the Prime- Minister, certain members of the Government.

(3) Should the reshuffling proposal change the political structure of the Government, the President of Romania will exercise his right as stipulated by Line No. 2 solely based on the approval of the Parliament, granted upon the proposal of the Prime- Minister.

The Constitution revision draft:

Line (4): The President of Romania will not decline the proposal of the Prime-Minister to revoke or appoint new members of the Government.

Article No.89

The effective Constitution:

(1) Upon consulting the Chairmen of the two Chambers and of parliamentary groups, the President of Romania may dissolve the Parliament if the Parliament has failed to grant the vote of confidence for the formation of Government within 60 days as of the first request and upon rejection of at least two investiture requests.
The Constitution revision project:

"(...) upon rejection of at least three investiture requests".

Article No. 91

The effective Constitution:

(1) The President of Romania will conclude international treaties representing Romania, as negotiated by the Government and will send them to the Parliament for ratification within a reasonable time. The remaining treaties and international agreements will be concluded, approved or ratified in accordance with the procedures established by law.

The Constitution revision draft:

"The President will represent Romania at the European Union meetings on the foreign policy of the European Union, the common security policy, the amendment of the European Union constitutional treaties."

Article No. 92

(1) The President of Romania is the commander of armed forces and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Defense.

(2) The President declares, upon a prior approval of the Parliament, a partial or total mobilization of the armed forces. In exceptional cases the Decision of the President is subject to the approval of the Parliament within 5 days as of its adoption.

(3) In case of armed attack against the country the President of Romania takes all necessary measures to reject the attack and immediately notifies the Parliament in writing. Should the Parliament not be in session at that time, an emergency session will be called within 24 hours as of the beginning of the attack.

(4) In case of mobilization or war the Parliament will continue its activity throughout and, should it not be in session, a session will be called in 24 hours as of the beginning of the war or mobilization.

The Constitution revision draft:

(5) The President of Romania will nominate the candidate for Head of the Romanian Intelligence Service.

(6) The President of Romania will nominate the candidate for Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service.
(7) The President of Romania will nominate the Army Head of Staff upon receiving the proposal of the Minister of Defense, as approved by the Prime-Minister.

(8) The President of Romania will present the Parliament annually a message on the national security status.

Article No. 102

The effective Constitution:

(1) The Government runs the domestic and foreign policies of the country and exercises the general public administration.

(2) In order to exercise its attributes the Government will collaborate with the competent social bodies.

(3) The Government is comprised of Prime-Minister, ministers and other members as established by organic laws.

The Constitution revision draft:

(4) The Government will represent Romania at the European Union meetings, except for the cases stipulated by Article No. 91 Line No. 1.

Article No. 103

(1) The President of Romania will nominate a candidate for Prime-Minister after consulting the party that holds absolute majority in Parliament or, should there be no such majority, the parties that have representatives in the Parliament.

(2) The candidate to Prime-Minister will ask, within 10 days as of the nomination, the Parliament vote of confidence on the programme and members of the future Government.

(3) The Government programme and future members will be debated by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in a common session. The Parliament will grant the Government the vote of confidence of the majority of Senators and Deputies.

The Constitution revision draft

(1) The President of Romania will nominate as Prime-Minister the candidate proposed by the political party or alliance that participated in elections and obtained the highest number of mandates in the Parliament, according to the official elections' result.

(2) Should there be several political parties or alliances that obtained the same number of mandates, the President of Romania will nominate as Prime-Minister the candidate proposed by the political party or alliance that participated in the elections and obtained the highest number of votes, according to the official elections' result.

Article No. 119

The effective Constitution:

The Supreme Council of National Defense organizes and coordinates all activities on the national security and defense, participation to the international security forces and common defense in military alliances, as well as on peace maintenance and re-establishment.

The Constitution revision draft:

The National Security Council organizes and coordinates all activities on the national security, participation to the international security forces and common defense in military alliances, as well as on peace maintenance and re-establishment. The National Security Council will present annually or on request activity reports to the Parliament. The President of Romania is the Chairman of the National Security Council. Formally.

n. a judge's order prohibiting the attorneys and the parties to a pending lawsuit or criminal prosecution from talking to the media or the public about the case. The supposed intent is to prevent prejudice due to pre-trial publicity which would influence potential jurors. A gag order has the secondary purpose of preventing the lawyers from trying the case in the press and on television, and thus creating a public mood (which could get ugly) in favor of one party or the other. Based on the "freedom of the press" provision of the First Amendment, the court cannot constitutionally restrict the media from printing or broadcasting information about the case, so the only way is to put a gag on the participants under the court's control. In Canada, however, the media can be restricted, as in a famous case in which American newspapers were smuggled across the border to report on a particularly lurid sex-murder case in which a second accused person was yet to be tried. A gag order can also be made by an executive agency such as when President George Bush issued a gag order which forbade federally funded health clinics from giving out information about abortions, a gag order which President Bill Clinton rescinded on his first day in office, January 22, 1993.


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