Anyone who has been in Romania for the past few years, would likely heard of Liviu Dragnea. He is the head of the current democrat-led government, PSD, and has been at the forefront of a number of controversial decisions, which have seen people across the country take to the streets in protests, such as those in August and June of 2018.
To learn a little bit more about some of the background, you should read the article “What’s happening with all these protests lately?”
However now, the United States and a number of European nations have issued an international warning to Romania, to beware of the fact its eroding the rule of law. The U.S. Embassy released their warning in an article published on their website, which highlights the fact that the Romanian government continues to draft “Emergency Government Ordinances” which are used to modify laws, which many believe are weakening the ability for Romania to fight crimes and corruption.
“We are deeply concerned about the integrity of Romania’s justice system, which has been buffeted by unpredictable modifications that do not further Romania’s efforts to consolidate judicial progress. To the contrary, the cumulative effect of these modifications carries the risk of slowing the fight against corruption and undermining judicial independence.”
Recent emergency ordinances, were proposed by PSD, which would change the country’s penal code to be advantageous to Liviu Dragnea, who is currently under trial for abuse of power. The efforts to amend the penal code have been attempted many times before, sometimes at very late hours of the night, and in January 2017, Romania’s Justice Ministry passed an emergency ordinance that would broadly decriminalise some levels of corruption.
One specific part of the new ordinance would change the statue of limitations, mainly for crimes of which Liviu Dragnea has been convicted. This includes, corruption and abuse of power during his time as the Councilman of Teleorman County. Under this new ordinance, the statue of limitations for these crimes would actually expire in 2018, ultimately rendering Liviu Dragnea, immune to prosecution efforts.
This was clearly perceived as a deliberate attempt to get the PSD leader, out of jail.