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  Nr. 4309 de miercuri, 13 august 2008 
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Will Traian Basescu win or lose?
-- As I was saying last week, the change expected to take place in the DNA (National Anti-Corruption Department) is causing political and electoral wrath, which may lead to tough confrontations between Cotroceni Palace and the others. This may even harm the EPP politically involved in this Bucharest conflict via the European Commission. This is a game calling for at least five moves on the political chessboard. One of these moves will reach very far, it will actually reach Brussels.
Three moves I anticipated last week. The Government had no choice, as they just couldn't give Daniel Morar one more mandate for several reasons. It was clear that the justice minister would recommend someone else to take over the DNA. This person happens to be Monica Serbanescu, coming from a remote village via the Prosecutor's Office of Ilie Botos, where she was sacked by her successor, that is Laura Codruta Kovesi. The second move is surely to come and it will consist in the confirmation by the Superior Council of Magistracy. The third one is imposed too: Traian Basescu's response. He has been Daniel Morar's lawyer, although when Daniel Morar ruled the DNA Traian Basescu's phone calls were intercepted. Since this is the President's option, why wonder about the alleged civil society organizations and the press trumpets belonging to Cotroceni Palace? The President's decision is being anticipated by the fact that Romania's general attorney Laura Codruta Kovesi has appointed Daniel Morar an interim head of the DNA for three months, although she could have chosen someone else for the job. But she wanted Daniel Morar. This is a clue that the President will dismiss the recommendation for Monica Serbanescu. But I wouldn't bet on it, mind you, since Traian Basescu can very well do the opposite.
If the head of state says no, a new institutional conflict will emerge. And it can trigger another constitutional conflict. Since the Constitution doesn't say much and since everything that is not disallowed is allowed, if he wishes to, President Traian Basescu can deadlock the appointing of a new DNA head on and on, which would keep Daniel Morar a ruler and although the minister of justice doesn't want him, although the whole anti-Basescu side is pointing to him and claiming he has become a political instrument.
But both sides are to evaluate the effects of such ceaseless chess. Supported by all the political parties, except for the PD-L (Democrat-Liberal Party), the government has done this. Whether the analysis is good or bad is to be seen. But the dice was cast as far as this is concerned. Traian Basescu and the PD-L will reach their own conclusions on the issue, deciding how much they win and how much they lose by opening a crisis. If the bill is too expensive, Traian Basescu will give up. But it may be even more expensive unless he gives up. It is only him, and maybe some two or three other people, who knows if there are poisonous snakes in the documents belonging to the DNA. And it is also him who knows the number of such snakes. In other words, by avoiding a new institutional crisis and an escalation of the political class, by appointing Monica Serbanescu, Traian Basescu may have to pay too much, but only if the information to be disclosed inside the DNA is truly scandalous. It will confirm that political cases against the President's adversaries have been made up indeed. But if Daniel Morar is clean, like some are claiming, then Traian Basescu will have no problem with appointing the person recommended by the minister of justice, that is a new Monica.
The European Commission was wrong to make up a document, with some parts of it dictated by some Bucharest officials. The European Commission broke European norms. For instance, Romania is scolded for forbidding, due to obeying EU norms, military prosecutors to investigate on civilians. And the European Commission's spokesman has turned into a lawyer for Daniel Morar, in the EPP hands. If the recommendation for Monica Serbanescu succeeds, the EPP will get a slap and the EU will get a lesson on sovereignty.
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