Transparency International Romania launches today, 5th of May 2016, an open call for all citizens – elected persons, candidates or voters, to renew the values system the Romanian society and democracy are built on.
This call comes as a reaction to the numerous candidacies already submitted for the elections in June by persons the judiciary has initiated at least one procedure of criminal investigation against or even ruled in various stages of the trial, candidacies that - without negating the presumption of innocence - are likely to put into question the professional integrity of those concerned. This situation is all the more alarming as among candidates, there are people prosecuted or sued by The National Anticorruption Directorate for corruption, either under judicial control or who received suspended sentences for corruption acts committed during their mandates as mayors. These candidates are even ranked among the favourites of local communities in opinion polls, with high chances to win the elections.
We appreciate that this situation, unprecedented in scale in other modern democracies, but which appears as a theme within the Romanian public life, is likely to bring into question the credibility of all of us and the country, and to affect the negotiation power and representation at international level.
Please note that the attitude of those who submit their candidacies, even though they are subject to legal proceedings for corruption, represents a defiance of justice, and those who vote for these candidates represent the expression of a vote of censure against justice and against the credibility of the measures it undertakes. The same reasoning applies for the political parties who have agreed to include on the lists of candidates persons that are subject to legal proceedings, which is likely to limit citizens' electoral choices.
We emphasize that the right to be elected is not an absolute right, and that it may not be exercised by restricting the right to choose, which is recognized by the Constitution. Thus we invite all citizens to exercise their constitutional rights responsibly and to contribute through their conduct to promoting a functional system of values, where verticality and professional integrity prevail in choosing the candidates for public offices.
Today’s call is a call to conscience, responsibility and, pro-active behaviour of those who share democratic and the rule of law values, and want An honest Romania, without corruption!