Proposed provisions would enhance head of state’s powers

A Parliament with a single Chamber, dubbed Chamber of Representatives, and an upper limit of 300 seats.

A 10-day deadline for Parliament to vote on the investiture of a proposed Government and on its governing programme.

Parliament will be dissolved in 45 days’ time if it votes against two investiture proposals, instead of being dissolved in 60 days’ time as stipulated now.

The prime minister will reshuffle a minister only after ‘previously consulting the president,’ basically doing so only with the head of state’s approval; until now this was the prime minister’s exclusive prerogative.

The president cannot be suspended if the Constitutional Court rules in his favour.

The president enjoys immunity during his term. In its current form the Constitution does not specify a time period for his immunity, stating instead only that ‘the Presidents enjoys immunity.’ Stefan Deaconu, presidential advisor on judicial issues, explained for ‘Gandul’ daily that the proposed stipulation represents ‘a clarification’ because the immunity remains unchanged.

The new draft limits an interim president’s prerogatives. Unlike current provisions, the draft stipulates that interim presidents can no longer address Parliament and cannot replace or appoint the prime minister.

Elections for the Chamber of Representatives will take place 45 days after the Chamber’s term expires or after it is dissolved. The current Constitution stipulates a period of 3 months at most.

MPs’ minimum age will be 23. Today the minimum age for Lower Chamber members stands at 23, while that of Senators stands at 33.

Parliament will have a period of 30 days at its disposal in order to decide whether it will accept the president’s intention to organise a referendum.

NGOs will have six representatives within the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), in contrast to the two representatives they have today. Moreover, three of the representatives will be named by the head of state and the other three by Parliament. Consequently, the weight that magistrates have within the CSM will shrink. The proposed draft of the new Constitution also lowers CSM members’ terms from six to four years.

National minorities will have 18 seats assured within the future legislative chamber just like they do now but the upper ceiling of 300 seats will be maintained so that the parties will in fact compete over 282 seats, not 300.

Minorities will have other advantages too. Public authorities will have to consult national minorities’ organisations when taking decisions that concern their ethnic, cultural and religious identity.

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