The Parallel State in Romania

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by Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, Romanian Senate President

I noticed that my refusal to participate in the UM Digi 24 TV debate about the parallel state, was followed by a series of attacks that have far exceeded the journalistic norms. I reserve the right to give a brief reply as an explanation of what is the rule of law, in the hope that those who need to understand will understand. As in the old saying: ”beat the saddle, to teach the horse”.

The essential elements of the rule of law are:

1.The the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens prevail vis-a-vis the institutions;

2. Institutions that are democratically elected exercise power on the basis of the legitimacy given to them by the voters, without interference from the institutions of force. The Parliament is the expression of the will of the Romanians and represents the fundamental institution;

3. The separation and balance of powers, in order to prevent slippages and excesses characteristic of the abuse of power;

4. The rule of law. The Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law.

On these points, the rule of law in Romania is under the siege by the parallel system of power.

The majority of the Romanians sees with concern that Romania has experienced regression in terms of the respect for human rights and for the fundamental freedoms, including in the first years after 1990, when a number of institutions of force had not been reformed yet. Every day, at the office of the Senate we receive complaints from the citizenry that condemn the flagrant violations of rights and freedoms. When I go on trips through the country, I talk to people who share my concerns. On the first page of the newspapers and the televisions, the Romanians have seen an avalanche of cases showing abuses committed by those who work in the so-called “tactical” field.

Lately, there has appeared new evidence related to attempts of distortion of the democratic process by the parallel state. There are many question marks related to trying to influence the results of the presidential elections in 2009, when the heads of the institutions of force were sitting at the table with the political people. We have certitudes related to the abuses of the parallel state against the political people, in an attempt to influence key electoral moments. One such moment was in 2014, when there was a warrant of surveillance of several politicians, among which I counted myself.

As regards the third point, every day we see people from the top of security institutions, where the corruption comes to the surface in a huge size, who refuse to submit to any kind of democratic control. In the United States, the Attorney General has to present himself at the request of the Congress and give explanations. In Romania, we got refusals and a constant run away from responsibilities, which denotes the mentality of those who consider themselves above the law.

Last but not least, in a state of law, the Parliament is the sole legislative authority. Unfortunately, in Romania we have statements from those who must apply the law, questioning the right of the Parliament to legislate.

I know that those who are on the payroll of the parallel state will go to great lengths to deny the evidence. They will say that there is no parallel state, that in Romania the rights and freedoms of citizens are respected to a comma and that all of the revelations in the press are exceptions to be ignored. That is what what they are doing at UM Digi 24 TV, where I have never heard one word about the abuses to which citizens are subjected to, as the victims.

The truth cannot be denied forever. Furthermore, I hope that stating these truths, repeatedly, in the public space, will contribute to the unmasking of the manipulation of those who belong to a minority, those who choose to go out in the street to protect, unwittingly, precisely the parallel system.

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