Row over anti-corruption chief in Romania

In Romania the row over the director of the anti-corruption authority DNA, Laura Codruţa Kövesi, continues. Around 200,000 supporters of the ruling party demonstrated against the DNA's alleged "abuse of justice" in Bucharest on Saturday. The Constitutional Court had ordered President Klaus Iohannis to fire Kövesi at the end of May - as the minister of justice had demanded, but Iohannis refused to comply. What will happen now?

Open/close all quotes
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (UA) /

Romanian people could be Iohannis's best allies

Iohannis can only prevent the governing Social Democrats from dismissing Codruţa Kövesi with the help of pressure from the street, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia argues:

“Under these conditions the Romanian leader must mobilise pro-European forces so as to torpedo the plans of the governing coalition and avoid conflict between Bucharest and Brussels. ... Iohannis's best allies in this affair would be the people of Romania. In principle Romanian society has rallied behind the fight against corruption at the highest level and the corrupt politicians who want to restrict the judges' activities. ... A serious fight is in the offing, seeing as the Social Democrats have also announced plans to mobilise their supporters.”

Radio Europa Liberă (RO) /

Ruling party breathing down president's neck

President Klaus Iohannis is facing more than a loss of competences after the ruling, Radio Europa Liberă explains:

“The Romanian Constitutional Court is changing the balance of power in the government's favour. The president is also part of this executive power, but his authority is increasingly symbolic in character. Klaus Iohannis must submit to the Justice Ministry and implement the highest court's decision, even if he doesn't like it. The [ruling] Social Democrats are already breathing down his neck and just waiting for him to make a mistake that gives them the excuse to have him suspended, as the key political leaders have already talked about doing.”

Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Iohannis must respect the ruling

Romanian President Iohannis must now swallow this bitter pill, Evenimentul Zilei writes:

“Correct or not, justified or not, the decision of the constitutional court must be respected. We are often left with the impression that a court judgement was not justified. But when the judgement is final, for practical reasons it's impossible not to respect it. Like every judgement, the decision of the highest court on the Codruta Kövesi case must be respected. Otherwise that would mean that judgements are no longer binding and whether we accept them or not depends on our own interpretation even though we allowed a judge to decide the case.”

republica.ro (RO) /

From now on Romania has a weak president

Website Republica.ro explains how the ruling has shaken Romania's political system to the core:

“The discussion is no longer about Ms Kövesi, or the DNA, or even the fight against corruption - it's about the kind of republic we want to live in. The court's decision has changed Romania's constitutional regime. A political decision has determined that the six million people who voted for the president are weaker than the three million who voted for the social-liberal government [and who back the ruling]. ... In the name of this arbitrary legitimacy, the government - without asking the voters - has rendered the function of the president irrelevant and decided that from now on Romania is to have a weak president.”