Romania's Social Democratic (PSD) government on Monday morning adopted an emergency ordinance to "streamline" a series of changes to the justice laws. The move comes despite disquiet within the PSD over how the changes should look and despite warnings from outside the party over the possible effects of such an ordinance.
A referendum on changing the definition of family in the Romanian Constitution, seen by opponents as a politicised attack on gay rights, was bound to fail as preliminary data late on Sunday evening showed attendance was far from reaching the necessary threshold for poll validation. After 2 days of voting, by 7 p.m. on Sunday evening, only 18.87% of voters showed up at polling stations across the country, way below the 30% threshold needed for the referendum to pass.
Some 19 million Romanians are invited to vote this weekend in a referendum aimed at changing the definition of family in the Constitution, so that same-sex marriages be prevented for good. It is one of the most divisive polls in the history of democratic Romania, with a high abstention rate expected as a good number of opponents of the change say they would boycott the politically charged vote. Warnings of potential electoral fraud intensified over the past week.
A group of prominent members of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) on Wednesday made available to the public a letter in which they call for the resignation of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea both as party head and as speaker of the House. They speak of a "crisis situation" and a need to avoid "international isolation" and urge the leadership of the party to discuss their request. For his part, Dragnea dismissed the move as a "game" in the benefit of intelligence services and President Klaus Iohannis.
Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader has nominated Adina Florea, a prosecutor from the city of Constanta, for the chair of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), a key body in the fight against corruption. If accepted, Florea would take over a position previously held by Laura Codruta Kovesi, who has gained massive international support but also the hate of the governing Social Democrats.
The plenary of the European Parliament will organise a debate in early October on the violence that flared at the massive anti-government protest in Bucharest on August 10 this year. The initiative of the debate belongs to the Greens, who have also called for a debate in February on the changes the governing coalition in Bucharest applied to the laws of justice.
A group of Romanian schools associated with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen announced on Thursday that six teachers of Turkish origin were retained "through violence" in the Republic of Moldova. Moldovan media also quoted the Service of Intelligence and Security (SIS) that seven foreign citizens, suspect of links to an Islamic group, had been expelled from the country. This comes as the Gulen movement has been the target of repeated attacks of the Turkish authoritarian regime of Recep Erdogan especially since the failed coup d'etat in 2016.