The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea announced that, in these conditions, the referendum for the revision of the Constitution will no longer be held simultaneously with the first round of the presidential elections.
President Traian Basescu on Saturday challenged at the Constitutional Court (CC) the Law of the Referendum, accusing that the act contains principles which “defeat” constitutional principles related to the exerting of the sovereignty by the people, informs a press release posted on the internet site of the Presidency. In the complaint sent to CC president Augustin Zegrean, Basescu says that stipulating in the referendum law a quorum of at least 30 pc of the number of peoples present on the permanent electoral lists infringes the provisions of the Constitution because the prerequisite of a democratic manifestation of the sovereignty through the people can be secured only by the participation in the referendum of the majority of citizens, consisting in half plus one of the number voters inscribed in the permanent electoral lists.
The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea said that, with Traian Basescu challenging at CC the law on the referendum threshold, the plebiscite for the validation of the modification of the Constitution cannot take place anymore in 2014, simultaneously with the first round of presidential elections, as it had been discussed within the USL initially. “Traian Basescu has but one target (…) he will try to delay as much as possible the decision and promulgation of the text of law, so the referendum-related measure no longer superimposes to the first round of presidential elections,” Zgonea mentioned, quoted by Mediafax. In his opinion, Traian Basescu will meet his objective of preventing the USL keep one of its promises – to revise the Constitution.
Asked if, after Basescu’s move the idea of USL on organising the referendum for the modification of the Constitution is still possible, Zgonea answered: “The question does not make sense. The answer is <<No>>. (…)
At this moment, based on all the calculations I made with Mr. Ponta and Mr. Antonescu, we hoped that Traian Basescu, respecting the pact of cohabitation and the serious attitude regarding the governance, would not make this move, i.e. would not send gratuitously the text to the Court, but he abused a right he has.” According to the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, by blocking the referendum for the revision of the Constitution Basescu acted like a political actor, although he should not be so, and gave the opposition a respite to consolidate.
On May 29, the Chamber of Deputies passed with 221 votes to 73 and 2 abstentions the draft law on lowering the turnout threshold for the referendum to 30 pc. The legal initiative signed by Valeriu Zgonea, Florin Iordache, Eugen Nicolicea and Bogdan Ciuc, modifies the Law of the Referendum by reducing the turnout threshold in this type of ballot from 50 pc to 30 pc and by enforcing the condition of a vote of 25 pc of the electorate in order to validate the results. PDL challenged the law at the CC.