President Klaus Johannis is weakening pluralist democracy in Romania. A study carried out by the British think-tank Oxford Analytica highlights the anti-democratic activities of the Romanian president during his mandates.
According to the analysis’s authors, Klaus Johannis’s popularity registers a significant decrease among the population.
Johannis speaks little, and his public appearances have steadily decreased. His advisors stay out of the public eye and are believed to come from the business and intelligence world. (…) President Klaus Johannis’ popularity is now in freefall, as his attempt to reduce the influence of Parliament by allowing the purge of anti-corruption judges and bringing military figures into politics seems to be backfiring. His efforts in 2021 to forge a coalition between two typically rival parties that hold a parliamentary majority have undermined competitive politics and scrutiny of government actions.Oxford Analytica
The future of Romania’s democracy is uncertain, given President Klaus Iohannis’s stance toward the military and intelligence service. The study emphasizes the case of PNL-PSD (National Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party), where the president’s role in dissolving the alliance between the PNL and USR ( Save Romania Union) and creating the coalition between the PNL and PSD, usually opposing parties, which have the majority of seats in Parliament, led to an increase of corruption in Romania. The analysis also demonstrates that his efforts undermined competitive policy and control over government actions.
President Klaus Johannis renounces his role as a mediator between state bodies and between the state and society. Fears are growing that a disorderly, sometimes chaotic, yet identity-pluralist system is being replaced by a monolithic version where corruption and inefficiency continue to thrive but without meaningful checks and balances.Oxford Analytica
The experts claim that his desire to decrease the authority of the parliament, allow the purging of anti-corruption judges, and introduce military leaders into politics, raises an alarm signal about democracy in Romania.
The respective study followed several essential topics: the significant influence of the secret services and the army on Klaus Johannis and Nicolae Ciuca’s government; giving up any type of reform; destroying/stopping the anti-corruption fight; intimidation of anti-corruption magistrates; buying media.
According to Oxford Analytica, Romania could lose significant funding from the European Union due to legal issues, and Schengen membership is “unlikely” to happen. Additionally, according to British researchers, Romania wants to strengthen its secret services to monitor foreign investments in Romania. The analysis devotes a significant amount of attention to the legislative initiatives about the secret services and demonstrates that “the drafts were created by intelligence service personnel (a problematic legal act) with the knowledge of the President’s and Prime Minister’s offices.”
Photo source: Klaus Iohannis Facebook