Romanian President Iohannis facing suspension
The leaders of Romania's two ruling parties Liviu Dragnea (PSD) and Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (Alde) have announced that they will decide by Monday whether to launch impeachment proceedings against President Klaus Iohannis. The latter is blocking a series of highly controversial changes to the penal code which Dragnea is pushing for and which would hamper the fight against corruption. Commentators assess the power struggle taking place at different levels.
Iohannis must not let himself be intimidated
President Iohannis must not back down and agree to the demands of the ruling parties now, writes journalist Ioana Ene Dogioiu of news website Ziare:
“Klaus Iohannis may or may not be afraid of being suspended. But I'm not interested in this human reaction. The Romanian president must not give in to the imperium of blackmail. He has no choice. If he buckles now he would lose all authority in his role as president. He would expose a weakness that could be exploited at any opportunity. The day the president gives in to the threats will be the day his term of office comes to an end.”
An ultimatum to the coalition partner
Dragnea is putting a gun to Popescu-Tăriceanu's head, writes news website Digi 24:
“Why a suspension? In order to install as president a person of trust [the head of the senate Călin Popescu Tăriceanu would take over the position], if only temporarily. This would solve a number of problems the law is causing for PSD chief Liviu Dragnea. It would also allow him to remove a few persons he finds inconvenient from important institutions (for example the head of the anti-corruption authority Laura Codruta Kövesi). ... Because Popescu-Tăriceanu's resistance against the suspension plans is well known, Dragnea's announcement can only be interpreted as an ultimatum: by Monday you must decide! Either you're with me or you're against me!”