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The Foot Of Romania’s President Is Oversized For The Dainty Shoe Of A European Politician

Autor: Lavinia Dimancea 12 Feb 2007 - 00:00
The Foot Of Romania’s President Is Oversized For The Dainty Shoe Of A European Politician

The Social Democrat Party, or PSD, in opposition, Monday will file a request with the Constitutional Court for the suspension of President Traian Basescu. The PSD executive president Mircea Geoana explained to Jurnalul national daily, in an interview, why his party’s move.

Jurnalul National: Who is the de facto leader of PSD? Basescu says the honorary president Ion Iliescu is.
Mircea Geoana: Basescu, as we all know, is spreading a lot of lies and makes stupid remarks, with the only purpose to cause confusion and conflicts. This may be the modus operandi he learned while working in Antwerp, sThe Netherlands, during the communist regime, trans notet.
If Basescu stays the de facto leader of the Democrat Party, or PD, sin spite of him leaving the party upon taking the presidential office, trans. notet this does not mean that other parties are operating along the same lines.
He makes the same uncomplimentary remarks about the leadership of the National Liberal Party, or PNL, ssenior partner in the ruling coalition, along the PD, trans. notet.
Basescu says Dinu Patriciu is running PNL sinstead of the actual leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu, and also PM, trans. notet.
As opposed from the PD, the PSD is run by those democratically elected for the job.

JN: What is it, in fact, what you hold against Basescu?
MG: We have nothing against Basescu as a person, but we hold a lot against him in his capacity as a president. All he does goes against Romanians’ interest to live in a democratic, European society. He is protecting the most powerful interest groups which deal in the country’s economy and finance; he manipulates public opinion; he tries to render irrelevant the other pillars of government and turn the democratic state into an autocratic-populist rule of soviet hue.
He uses the justice system and the intelligence services for control and intimidation of both political foes and friends.
All the above and many other complaints are listed in the document PSD will file Monday with the Constitutional Court, to open the suspension procedures.
Basescu is not a president, but a joke of a president.
One should not forget that Basescu fights not only for getting absolute power, but also to block any future investigation into the now frozen files sregarding his alleged role in selling Romania’s commercial fleet, trans. notet

JN: If Basescu was that dangerous as a political leader, why reacting so late?
MG: Our party made public Basescu’s lack of democratic practices after his first six months in office, after his 12-month in office, and we do it now too, after two years had passed since he moved into the presidential palace. The most recent episode, which stirred the public interest, was one which amply showed that Basescu was willing to cover illegal acts of people holding office, to later use that knowledge in blackmailing them.
Basescu and the presidency should be separated. He is tarnishing this office every day, each day, with his performance, or lack there of, on the job. Some hoped that joining the European Union will make Basescu turn around.
But they were wrong.
The dainty shoe of a European politician does not fit the oversized presidential heavy foot.
There are two main duties a Romanian president should perform: to mediate among the other pillars of government, and to represent the country internationally.
Basescu fails to fulfill both these duties, and I do not think there is anyone who can think any differently on that.
His actions inside the country block the working of the institutions, and his action outside the country isolate Romania internationally.

JN: Your party was accused for attempting to change the rules of the game while the game was still on sin reference to the change in the referendum law, which will make for an easier suspension of the president, trans. notet
MG: This is the stance of the people afraid of the voting outcome. When Basescu was elected, half plus one of the people at the polls were enough to validate his vote; the same should be valid when the issue of suspending him in a referendum is posed.
sThe recent change in the referendum law made for half plus one of the people taking a vote to validate it, as opposed to the previous provision, which asked for half plus one of the registered voters to cast valid votes, for the vote to be valid, trans. notet When saying that the rules of the game are changed while the game is still on, Basescu should be reminded that the PD took the lead in making the ruling coalition change the Senate and House of Deputies organizing rules, which made possible for them to take the leadership of the House from the PSD.

JN: What are the chances for the suspension procedure to be approved in parliament, given that the National Liberal Party already stated would vote against it? Would you still be able to get the votes needed?
MG: With or without the liberals’ votes the PSD will forge ahead. This is what the population wants us to do, and those not supporting us in parliament might be afraid for having their illegal activities exposed by the anti-corruption prosecutors and intelligence services swhich are allegedly controlled by the president, trans. notet It would be interesting to see what arguments the liberals would have to fend off Basescu’s future maneuvering once they voted against our initiative to suspend the president.

JN: Many pundits say Basescu will come out stronger from the popular vote; that the referendum will decide in his favor.
MG: Basescu stands to lose no matter the outcome of the vote. You should note that the Romanians will not take a vote on whether the president is good or bad, but whether he broke the law or not. Even if a minority of voters - be they 40%, 30% or 20% - vote against him, he is still loosing on a moral level for breaching the Constitution. Besides, the most recent polls, including those ordered by the PD, show Basescu plunged at under 50% in his approval rate.

JN: PD leaders, particularly its president Emil Boc, said the parliament should be dissolved if the president would not be impeached. How do you comment this stance?
MG: As one of the many stupid things Boc might say. This is a political and constitutional nonsense. Romania’s Constitution has no provision to that effect.
When in 1994 PD initiated along the then opposition parties the suspension procedures against the PSD supported president Ion Iliescu, it did not talk about the need to dissolve the parliament.
We still abide by the same Constitution, be our names Iliescu, Basescu or Geoana.
The truth of the matter is that Basescu and his people are very much afraid for loosing their grip on the power and they turn to blackmail and terror to scare the people into submission.
If the voters will vote against the suspension of Basescu, then that will be it, with no further consequences for the fate of the parliament.
But I am confident in the outcome of the final vote.
This president deceived the electorate several times now.
And, as we know, one can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time.

Translated by ANCA PADURARU
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