Political leaders criticize President Basescu’s request of referendum

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The political leaders on Thursday criticized the initiative taken by President Traian Basescu for organizing a referendum on introducing the unicameral parliamentary system on the day of the first round of voting at the presidential election, November 22.

The Social Democrats and the Liberals described this suggestion as „harmful,” which, in their opinion, would be „a proof of demagogy and trick playing,” „a populist step.”

If the leader of the opposition Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) said he was in favour of a „genuine bicameral” system in which the prerogatives of the two chambers should be well delimited, the Democrat Liberals said that the Head of State, when making this proposal, had in view „the interest of the Romanian society referring to the reformation of the state institutions.”

„The announcement made by President Basescu is nothing else than another proof of demagogy and political trick playing. On November 22 and December 6 there will be one single referendum of the Romanians,” said chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party Mircea Geoana.

In his turn leader of the opposition National Liberal Party Crin Antonescu said that the attempt made by Traian Basescu at creating a unicameral Parliament demonstrated that the Head of State wanted a Grand National Assembly despite Romania’s being now in a democratic age.

In his opinion, a talk about the change of the Constitution or of any other nature cannot take place at the same time with the presidential election.
UDMR chairman Bela Marko said he supported a „genuine bicameral system,” different from the current one, which, in his opinion, is „extremely faulty.”

Bela Marko supports the idea of a two- chamber Parliament that should have „other tasks.” But the objections of the UDMR leader refer to the date on which the President asked for the people’s consultation to be organized.

The idea of revising the Constitution, considering again the structure and composition of Parliament included, is quite valuable in itself, but it is rather improper and perfidious to consult the population about this subject on the same day with the presidential election, said vice-chairman of the Conservative Party Sergiu Andon in his turn. In his opinion, the coincidence of the day of November 22 changes into an electoral programme of a candidate.

In exchange the Democrat Liberals say that Traian Basescu considered „the interest of the Romanian society in reforming the state institutions,” as Daniel Buda, chairman of the legal commission of the Chamber of Deputies, put it.
He maintained that the President wanted „to make savings for the state budget” when suggesting the referendum being organized on November 22.

President Traian Basescu on Thursday requested the approval of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies for organizing a referendum on the day of the presidential elections, November 22, by which the Romanians should be consulted about setting up a unicameral Parliament with 300 members at most.

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