Parliament: Online meeting on President's decree on extending state of emergency

Parliament will convene on Thursday in an online meeting to debate and vote on President Klaus Iohannis' request regarding the extension of the state of emergency on Romania's territory, established under Decree No 240/2020. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 12,00hrs. The legal, defence and health committees of the two Chambers issued approval reports on Wednesday on the President's decree. Furthermore, the economic policy, European affairs, labour, transports and education committees issues favourable opinions on the decree. MPs made a series of proposals and recommendations, to be sent to the President and the Government. The draft decision on the approval of the measure adopted by the president on the extension of the state of emergency, which is going to be voted on in the Parliament plenary session, provides in article 1 that "it is approved the measure on the extension of the state of emergency on Romania's territory, for a 30-day period, established by Romania's President under Decree No 240 of 14 April 2020, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, No 311 of 14 April 2020." Nonetheless, several articles have been introduced, providing, among others, that "during the state of emergency the restriction of exercising some rights or freedoms be provided only under normative acts with law power," and only for "the prevention and combat of the Covid-19 epidemic, thoroughly motivated and with the strict observance of the exigencies of article 53 paragraph (2) of Romania's Constitution." During the state of emergency, periodically, every 7 days or as many times as necessary, the Government is to present a Report to Parliament including the measures adopted or in view for preventing and combating the COVID-19 epidemic and the reasons that have determined them. In 30 days since the cessation of the state of emergency, the Government will present to Parliament a complete report, the decision draft also provides. In 60 days since the cessation of the state of emergency, the Court of Accounts will conduct a check into the management of public resources during this period and will present Parliament a report including the findings, conclusions and proposals, in the conditions provided by Romania's Constitution, the draft also reads. *** Social Democratic Party (PSD), Save Romania Union (USR), People's Movement Party (PMP) and National Liberal Party (PNL) and national minorities group MPs announced they would vote for the approval of the decree. Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta announced his party would vote against the decree, arguing the president and the PM didn't take into account 15 previous requests. Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu chairman said his party would not vote for the extension of the state of emergency, invoking lack of medical, social and economic reasons. President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday announced the extension of the state of emergency on Romania's territory by 30 days, so that the most efficient measures against COVID-19 could be taken further. AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Adina Panaitescu, editor: Rodica State)

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