President Traian Basescu talked about the revision of the Constitution in a press conference today. The President sent, on Wednesday, to the Legislative Council, the draft law revising the Constitution for approval.

Here are his statements

  • I want you to know the way the draft law project takes now that I sent it to the Legislative Council. It needs to get its approval. 

  • Considering that there are not very important modifications, I think we will have the approval next week. Then, the project will be sent to the Constitutional Court where they have 10 days to decide. Then, it will be sent to the Parliament 

  • I estimate that I will be able to send the project to the Parliament before the summer break, between June 20 -30. 

  • I will also send the project to all political parties after the Legislative Council approves it, for their information 

  • I will also request to address the Parliament in the third decade of the month to inform the Parliament about my opinion on the revision 

  • I count on the responsibility of the Parliament and I say responsibility because the main reason of the modification is related to the 2009 referendum, when over 80% of the Romanians opted for a unicameral Parliament and for 300 members in the Parliament

  • The Parliament needs to respect the sovereignty of the people 

  • There are many people tempted to talk about my personal interest. These modifications cannot affect my mandate, I cannot benefit from the possible new changes in the Constitution 

  • My proposals stem from the results of the referendum from the experience of almost two mandates and the wish to correct what is unclear in the Constitution 

  • It is also necessary to have an update on Romania’s membership to NATO and the EU 

The modifications put forward:

  • I want to make it clear that the two elements, a unicameral Parliament and 300 members are part of the modifications of the Constitution 

  • Any law needs to be read twice: a first reading and a new reading after at minimum 30 days afterwhich the final vote is cast. 

  • For the emergency law, through the vote of the Parliamentary majority one can cut procedures by 30 days to diminish the government’s appetite for emergency ordinances 

  • I introduced a new ruling that the proposal of the PM to revoke and name can be made only after consulting the President 

  • Another rulings: limiting the possibility of the government to take responsibility. It can only be done once a term, for one law only with the exception of the state budget and the social insurances budget to prevent any blockages 

  • Regarding the procedure to launch a referendum: it  consolidates the right of the President to launch a referendum, but creates the obligation for the Parliament to offer an answer in 30 days. If it does not get an answer, the President can issue a referendum decree 

  • I also attempted to balance the reports between the presidency and the parliament in matters of suspension. This does not concern me, have no worries

  • The decision of the Parliament, with the motivation for the suspension of the President needs to get an approval from the Constitutional Court 

  • These are matters of state stability 

  • I also propose a 10 day term for the Parliament to take a stand on a new government 

  • I lifted the immunity of the Parliamentarians for anything else than political declarations and Parliamentary activities. Prosecutors do not need the approval of the Parliament to retain, arrest or indict Parliamentarians for deeds that have nothing to do with their political opinions and votes 

  • I decreased the time spam from 60 to 45 days to dissolve the Parliament. This way there will be no long term crisis periods in the country