Romania’s Parliament endorsed the creation of a commission to investigate the 2009 elections in Romania.
In 2009, the then president of
Romania Traian Basescu surprisingly won the second round of the presidential
elections to secure a second term in office. His opponent, who was considered the favourite, was Mircea Geoana,
the leader of the Social Democratic Party at the time. The very small difference of
just several thousands votes between the two contenders, the large number of
special polling stations with a massive turnout and suspicions regarding the
way in which voting was carried out in several polling stations abroad fuelled
suspicions that the voting may have been tampered with. However, no wrongdoing
could be proven and the election result was validated, while Traian Basescu
remained for another five years in the presidential seat.
The whole controversy is again in the spotlight
following the revelations of the journalist Dan Andronic, a former adviser to
president Basescu. Andronic says people heading important state institutions in
Romania, such as the head of the National Anticorruption Directorate Codruta
Kovesi who at the time was Romania's Prosecutor General, as well as the then
head of the Romanian Intelligence Service George Cristian Maior and his first
deputy Florian Coldea had a meeting on the eve of the second presidential
ballot, hence the suspicion that they might have become involved in order to
influence the result of the vote.
Following these statements, the Prosecutor General's
Office started a prosecution in rem, therefore targeting actions and not
people, for abuse of office and forgery of electoral documents and records.
However, that was not enough, because the parliamentary majority made up of the
Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, which has
among its members some of Traian Basescu's fiercest enemies, have mobilised
themselves and pushed for the creation of a parliamentary commission to
investigate the 2009 elections. They managed to do that despite opposition from
the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union.
The Liberals' interim president Raluca Turcan
suspects the Social Democrats of only seeking to bring down the current head of
the National Anticorruption Directorate Codruta Kovesi, who is strongly
disliked by the current power. The Social Democrat MP Eugen Nicolicea, however,
has denied the accusations:
"Not only that we make no specific reference to the
possibility of investigating prosecutors or magistrates in general, but article
3 also clearly states that the offences specified by the Prosecutor General's
Office are not to be investigated by the parliamentary commission."
The Save Romania Union has also voted against the
creation of the special commission, saying that its activity will overlap with
that of the prosecutor's office. Here is deputy Ion Stelian:
"We cannot ignore the fact that the prosecutor's
office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice has started a judicial
investigation that targets the exact facts that would make the object of the
It's unclear what the parliamentary investigation
could prove. In his very particular style, senator Traian Basescu has jokingly
threatened that, if the result of the inquiry establishes that Mircea Geoana
should have been president instead, he will run again, a nightmarish scenario
for many in Romania.