The tragic events which took place on Friday night in Club Colectiv showed us the true dimension of the havoc caused by corruption and disregard for the law. Corruption does not only breed poverty, it also kills when manifested in relation to state institutions which are meant to ensure citizen safety and watch over the enforcement of and compliance with the law. Furthermore, the death of police officer Bogdan Gigina, on the 20th of October 2015, was the result of misuse of authority, blatant disregard for the law and discretionary use of power by the Romanian Minister of the Interior.
These tragedies must not happen again. It is our firm belief that the fight for rule of law, for integrity in the public arena and against corruption must continue within the confines of the democratic and constitutional system in Romania (that is a NATO and EU member state) through firm and definite measures on the part of the governing parties and clear demands from the part of the Romanian civil society.
It is important to completely understand the context that led to the tragedies from October 20th (the death of police officer Gigina) and 30th (the tragedy in Club Colectiv): institutional corruption, misuse of authority and frequent disregard for the law.
As such, we demand the following:
-Well defined and fast-acting measures to favor the opening of the political system and, implicitly, ensure true representativeness and real alternatives in the upcoming 2016 local and general elections, among which:
- Reinstating the two-round system in the case of local elections;
- Reducing the number of MPs, in accordance with the already expressed popular will;
- Instating correspondence voting through a functional law: as such, we ask President Iohannis not to promulgate the recently adopted bill and send it back to Parliament;
- Limiting parliamentary immunity strictly to political declarations.
-The resignation of the Romanian Ombudsman, Victor Ciorbea, and the appointment to this high office of a person corresponding to its requirements and with the determination to correspondingly apply themselves to this mandate, especially regarding discretionarily-issued Government Emergency Ordinances.
-Compliance with the independence of the judiciary and dismissal of the many bills presently in the judicial commission of the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate, bills threatening to change the anticorruption and integrity legal framework or aiming to diminish the DNA competencies.
-The creation of the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets through the adoption of the bill currently discussed by the Chamber of Deputies.
These demands are essential so that Romania –EU and NATO Member State- can truly be considered a democratic country, in which rule of law is respected, with a functional market economy that produces wealth for its citizens.
Freedom House Romania November 5th, 2015