Opposition parties sign National Political Agreement to consolidate Romania's European path
AGREEMENT A National Political Agreement aimed at consolidating Romania’s European path was signed in a public ceremony in Bucharest on Thursday. In his address on this occasion, president Klaus Iohannis once again criticised the Social Democratic Party, which, he said, harmed Romania a lot. It is because of the Social Democrats that Romania has been unable to develop more, Iohannis said, and emphasised that the Constitution and related legislation must be amended. Attending the ceremony were the leaders of the National Liberal Party, Save Romania Union, ProRomania and People’s Movement Party, all of them in opposition. The Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, in power, as well as the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians, were not on the list of signatories. The Agreement was proposed by Klaus Iohannis to all the parliamentary parties that took part last week in consultations on means to implement the outcome of the May 26th justice referendum. At that time the head of state explained that the agreement is designed to help introduce legislation prohibiting amnesty and pardon for corruption offences and prohibiting the passing of emergency government orders in the field of the judiciary.
CONGRESS The Social Democratic Party, in power in Romania, will elect its new leaders in a special congress on June 29th, with the party’s presidential candidate to be chosen in another congress. These are the main decisions made by the Social Democrats’ Executive Committee on Thursday. On June 29th the Social Democrats are to elect their president, executive president and secretary general. Following a change in the party rules, the president will be elected by delegates appointed by local branches, rather than by all party members as it happened so far. PM Viorica Dancila, who is currently the interim president, has already announced her candidacy.
COMMEMORATION Romania commemorated on Thursday 29 years since the June 1990 miners’ raids that ended a large-scale protest against the leftist party that took over power after the fall of the communist dictatorship in December 1989. On June 13, 1990, clashes broke out between the protesters in University Square in Bucharest and the police. The next day, coal miners from the Jiu Valley in western Romania arrived in Bucharest and raided opposition party offices, the University and other buildings, attacking protesters and other civilians. Six people died, nearly 1,000 were wounded and several hundred others arrested illegally. A criminal case in which the then president Ion Iliescu, ex-PM Petre Roman, former Deputy PM Gelu Voican Voiculescu and former intelligence chief Virgil Măgureanu are accused of crimes against humanity, is yet to reach the actual trial stage. In 2014, the European Court for Human Rights issued a decision forcing Romania to carry on investigations in this case.
UK Boris Johnson, who promised to complete Brexit on October 31st, is in the lead in the Tory leadership race, after getting 114 out of 313 votes on Thursday. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt came second with 43 votes, followed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove with 37 and Home Secretary Sajid Javid with 23. Ten candidates were enrolled in the race to replace Theresa May, who stepped down as Prime Minister on June 7. The second round of voting is scheduled on June 17th.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)