Romania Repeals Emergency Decree

img_4580Romania’s government on Sunday repealed an emergency decree that decriminalizes some official misconduct following massive demonstrations and condemnation from abroad.

The government led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu originally approved the ordinance in the middle of the night Wednesday, with no input from Parliament.

After repealing the decree, Grindeanu asked the justice minister to prepare a draft law to be sent to Parliament for debate and approval. The center-left Social Democratic Party has a parliamentary majority with a junior partner. President Klaus Iohannis then needs to sign off on the legislation.

The country’s Constitutional Court is still scheduled to rule on the legality of the original decree. It decriminalized official misconduct if the funds involved were worth less than 200,000 lei ($47,800), which critics said would just encourage officials to steal on the job up to that point.

Grindeanu said the draft should respect the court’s rulings, European directives and Romania’s criminal code.

Protesters demonstrated over the ordinance for a sixth straight day Sunday in the capital, Bucharest. The vast majority have expressed anger that the measure watered down the country’s fight against corrupt officials, including the leader of the ruling Social Democrats’ party.

For the first time, several hundred people rallied Sunday in support of the government outside the presidential palace.

Romania’s government on Sunday repealed an emergency decree that decriminalizes some official misconduct following massive demonstrations and condemnation from abroad.

The government led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu originally approved the ordinance in the middle of the night Wednesday, with no input from Parliament.

After repealing the decree, Grindeanu asked the justice minister to prepare a draft law to be sent to Parliament for debate and approval. The center-left Social Democratic Party has a parliamentary majority with a junior partner. President Klaus Iohannis then needs to sign off on the legislation.

The country’s Constitutional Court is still scheduled to rule on the legality of the original decree. It decriminalized official misconduct if the funds involved were worth less than 200,000 lei ($47,800), which critics said would just encourage officials to steal on the job up to that point.

Grindeanu said the draft should respect the court’s rulings, European directives and Romania’s criminal code.

Protesters demonstrated over the ordinance for a sixth straight day Sunday in the capital, Bucharest. The vast majority have expressed anger that the measure watered down the country’s fight against corrupt officials, including the leader of the ruling Social Democrats’ party.

For the first time, several hundred people rallied Sunday in support of the government outside the presidential palace.

 

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