Romanian Penal Code Gets Penalized in Parliament

The Romanian Parliament has always been one of the most prolific national institutions. Some 588 MPs in a country of no more than 19.5 million people have provided us with valuable Penal Code amendments right before Christmas.

22 April 2013 / Former Senator Catalin Voicu handed a 7 years jail sentence for influence peddling and fraud / Credit: Evenimentul Zilei

22 April 2013 / Former Senator Catalin Voicu handed a 7 years jail sentence for influence peddling and fraud / Credit: Evenimentul Zilei

Why would anyone leave the Penal Code amendments after the holidays when changes can be voted and become effective right away? Romanian MPs have passed an amended Penal Code that exempts attorneys, parliamentarians or the Romanian President from the same duties and obligations that currently regulate public civil service and breach of it.

As a matter of fact, pursuant to the new statutes, parliamentarians may no longer be investigated for corruption, bribery or conflict of interests. The new amendment contradicts UN international and European treaties to which Romania is a member party. But it comes to the rescue of a handful of current or former parliamentarians investigated for conflict of interests, the most latent and prevalent form of corrupt practice in Romania. Not to mention those that are in jail or are about to go to jail in the near future.

Lest we forget, Romania, along with Bulgaria is still under the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification of the EU which has repeatedly pointed breaches of statutes and legal loopholes feeding corruption and injustice.

This is neither the first nor the last case in which the legal priorities of the Romanian Parliament have been guided by private group interests rather by democratic best practices.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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