The Romanian Constitutional Court on Monday declared controversial criminal code reforms passed by government decree unconstitutional, saying the changes did not respect previous rulings issued by the court.
The amendments backed by the Social Democratic Party-led government included reducing jail terms and the statute of limitations for some corruption-related crimes.
Romania's highest court ruled on Thursday that a ban on amnesties and pardons for corrupt politicians would infringe the "fundamental rights" of anyone amnestied or pardoned, as presidential pardons are mainly given on health and humanitarian grounds.
The proposed ban was supported by more than 80 per cent of people who voted in a nationwide referendum on justice issues in May.
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban believes that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has a duty to implement all the recommendations issued by GRECO, the Venice Commission and the European Commission. "Premier Vasilica Viorica Dancila behaves as if she is still led by Liviu Dragnea [former Social Democratic Party leader, ed.n.].
"I haven't had any contact with anyone (politicians) and I don't intend to leave the legal profession," the 46-year-old said.
"The only candidacy I am interested in is that of European chief public prosecutor."
A Romanian woman holds a portrait of Laura Codruta Kovesi in downtown Bucharest, Romania, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT
At a plenary session on Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies passed draft decisions to vacate the positions so far held by Liviu Dragnea, including the Chamber's speakership. The decisions were unanimously adopted. The Judiciary Committee of the Chamber of Deputies passed the two draft resolutions on Tuesday.
The National Standing Bureau of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) decided on Tuesday to endorse Carmen Mihalcescu for acting speaker of the Chamber of Deputies. According to some party sources, Mihalcescu will be endorsed to lead the Chamber of Deputies in an acting capacity until the election of a full-time speaker.
The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) sentenced Liviu Dragnea to three years and 6 months in prison for instigating to abuse of office in the case of the fictitious hiring at the Teleorman Social Assistance and Child Protection Directorate General (DGASPC). The Supreme Court maintained in the case of PSD (Social Democratic Party, main ruling, ed.