Romanian President Klaus Iohannis this morning hijacked the government’s cabinet meeting and prevented it from passing an emergency ordinance (OUG) that would have freed thousands of convicted criminals and seen charges dropped against many other corrupt politicians and businessmen (including PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and former prime minister Victor Ponta).*
As was widely leaked to the press on Tuesday evening, the government had today intended to pass this OUG.
Iohannis however – allowed under the Romanian constitution to attend and chair the cabinet should he wish – arrived at the government building in Piata Victoriei shortly before the meeting began and quickly took control of proceedings, ensuring first and foremost that the press were allowed to remain until he had declared (in front of the entire government and press corp) that Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu had assured him: ‘no amnesty or pardon OUG will be discussed today’.
Liviu Dragnea – already in the US it would appear – will no doubt be fuming.
Two quick points about this morning’s blitzkrieg operation.
1. Iohannis is an increasingly decisive and impressive president who appears to have (belatedly) learnt how to gauge public opinion. On Tuesday night huge protests were being prepared (in spite of the weather) for Wednesday should the OUG have been passed.
2. The government needs to come up with a Plan B. It is likely that they will turn their attention to Iohannis himself, speeding up plans for his suspension. Expect to see Iohannis demonised on all PSD-controlled television stations (pretty much all of them except Digi24).
*Others who would be free of all criminal charges and/or pardoned and out of prison if the OUG were to be passed include: Dan Voiculescu, Elena Udrea, Marian Vanghelie, Sorin Blejnar, Vasile Blaga, Dan Sova, Bogdan Olteanu and Relu Fenechiu.
PS Grindeanu announced after the cabinet meeting that the OUG had ‘never’ been on today’s agenda. The text of the OUG itself, which states clearly that it would be applied from today, proves that once again he is, like a good PSD man, lying.