June 17, 2018
The powerful leader of Romania’s governing party — convicted of voter fraud, suspected of stealing millions of dollars of European Union funds, and soon to face a verdict in a case involving abuse of power — had a message for the more than 100,000 citizens who gathered in one of the capital’s main squares recently: He is the victim.
The pro-government demonstrators in Bucharest on June 9 were protesting what they call a “parallel state” in Romania that they say perverts the rule of law with the aid of the president and the chief anti-corruption prosecutor.
If the anti-corruption forces could come for him, Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party, warned ominously, they could come for anyone.
“You must not be under the illusion that only high-ranking officials or public servants will be the victims of denunciations and fake evidence,” he told supporters. “Absolutely everyone today in Romania can be targeted by a denunciation which could lead to an arrest or conviction.”