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President Iohannis fined RON 5,000 for statements regarding passage of Szeklerland autonomy bill

President Klaus Iohannis was ordered a RON 5,000 fine by the Board of Directors of the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) for the offense of discrimination and ethnicity/nationality-based violation of the right to dignity.

The sanction comes for the President's statements in the context of the tacit adoption, on April 23, by the Chamber of Deputies of the bill on the Szeklerland autonomy.

On April 29, in remarks at the Cotroceni Palace, Klaus Iohannis said: "Jo napot kivanok [good afternoon in Hungarian], PSD. It is incredible, dear Romanians, what is happening in the Romanian Parliament. PSD has helped UDMR to pass through the Chamber of Deputies a law that gives wide autonomy to the Szeklerland. It is incredible where we have arrived with this PSD. It is incredible what agreements are made in Parliament. While I, we, the government, the other authorities are fighting for the lives of Romanians, battling to get rid of this pandemic, the great PSD is fighting in the secret offices of Parliament to give Transylvania away to the Hungarians. Jo napot, Ciolacu! What has the leader of Budapest, Viktor Orban, promised you in exchange for this agreement? You see, my fellow nationals, that's what a toxic majority, the toxic PSD majority means. Therefore, my dear ones, it is now better understood why I wanted early elections. I no longer want the important problems of the nation to be decided by PSD. I no longer want this toxic PSD majority to decide against Romania and against Romanians. That is inadmissible and as long as I am the President of Romania, such a law will not exist. Thank you."

According to CNCD, this statement represents an act of discrimination and violates the right to dignity on the basis of ethnic/national affiliation, according to Art. 2 paragraph (1) and Art. 15 of the Government's Ordinance No. 137/2000, republished.

6 Board members voted to acknowledge the deed, and 5 for the fine. CNCD also determined that the public statements of the President and of the government regarding the provision of support only for a particular category of citizens who return to Romania do not represent discrimination, according to Art. 2 paragraph (1) and Art. 15 of the Government's Ordinance No. 137/2000, republished. The decision was adopted by unanimous vote.

În turn, the Presidential Administration announced that President Klaus Iohannis will challenge in court the National Council for Combating Discrimination's (CNCD) decision, which he labeled a political one,

"Romania's President Mr. Klaus Iohannis took note of today's decision of the National Council for Combating Discrimination. Taking into account that the CNCD decision is profoundly political, Romania's President will challenge the decision in a competent court," the Presidential Administration shows.

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that he was "stunned" when he saw the decision of the National Council for Combating Discrimination regarding President Klaus Iohannis," because the PSD-UDMR (Social Democratic Party - Democratic Union of Hungarians of Romania) majority" took a decision that "had nothing to do with the law and the sanctioning regime" for discrimination.

"I was stunned by today's decision of the so-called National Council for Combating Discrimination. A PSD-UDMR majority made a decision that had nothing to do with the law and the sanctioning regime for discrimination. The President of Romania is the victim of a purely political decision. The President of Romania was sanctioned not because he discriminated, but because he acted in the spirit of the Constitution, defending a constitutional principle, the principle of integrity, and because it exposed a constant policy of complicity of PSD, which, in order to attract the support of UDMR, made a series of unacceptable compromises, voting normative acts repeatedly, such as normative acts which practically established the obligation to use the languages of minorities everywhere, let alone the tacit adoption of a bill on the declaration of autonomy of the so-called Szeklerland." the Prime Minister said in a press statement held at Victoria Palace.