Reactions to president Klaus Iohannis’ latest decision to appoint chief-prosecutors are diametrically opposed
Romania's justice system was in an unprecedented
situation for quite some time, as some of its institutions, like the General
Prosecutor's Office, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), and the
Direction for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism DIICOT - were headed
by interim chief-prosecutors.
This situation came to an end after
the country's president appointed new chief-prosecutors on Thursday. So,
Gabriela Scutea will heading the General Prosecutor's Office for the following
three years, Crin-Nicu Bologa will be at the helm of the DNA, while Elena Hosu
will be heading the DIICOT. According to president Iohannis, 'it was a pleasure
to appoint these people, as Minister Predoiu's nominations proved to be
Klaus Iohannis: "As the
minister came with very elaborated and well-motivated nominations, against a
CSM's approval, which was partially superficial, I considered Minister
Predoiu's proposals right, so I appointed the three nominees."
The three candidates got appointed
by the president, although Gabriela Scutea, and Elena-Georgiana Hosu had not
been endorsed by the Higher Council of Magistrates (CSM). Interim Prime
Minister Ludovic Orban, leader of the National Liberal Party has also described
the appointments as fair.
Ludovic Orban: "Selection in
this case has been done on objective criteria and these appointments bring to
an end a series of prolonged interim terms, which have negatively impacted
these state institutions."
The opposition Social-Democrats
though say that president Iohannis had to take into account the CSM's decision.
Here is the Senate's Social-Democratic vice-president Robert Cazanciuc.
Robert Cazanciuc: "We are
probably going to see the European Commission's reaction to the president's
move in its future report, but one thing is very clear though, both the CVM and
GRECO recommend that CSM recommendations should be taken into account."
In a Facebook message, USR leader
Dan Barna has described the president's decision to appoint chief-prosecutors
in the absence of CSM endorsement as opportunistic against a political
background favourable to the incumbent Liberal rule. The Judges Forum
Association has specified in a communiqué that both the Justice Minister and
the President blatantly disregarded the European Commission reports within the
CVM framework, reminding that Brussels is considering the idea of conditioning
future grants on the observance of the rule of law and that Romania stands
chances of losing significant amounts of money.
Part of the publications, usually
favourable to the president and the ruling Liberals, have admitted being taken
aback by the president's latest move. G4media, for instance, believes that a
decision like that coming from the former ruling PSD would have sparked off
large-scale protests in the country's capital city Bucharest.
(translated by bill)