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February 24, 2021

Chamber of Deputies Speaker receives increased powers

According to the new Regulation of the Chamber of Deputies, voted Monday evening, the Speaker of the Lower House, Roberta Anastase may propose a suspension of debates on a draft law, if she believes there are legislators that “obstruct” the proceedings. The decision to suspend the debates is made by the plenum, which is dominated by the PDL-UDMR-UNPR coalition. Thus, the Power will have a new instrument to counter any strategy of the Opposition. According to the changes voted Monday, debates on a draft act may last a maximum 60 minutes, while codes and “very complex” laws may be debated for two hours at most. After a ballot, each deputy has one minute to explain his vote. No explanations are admitted for the vote on procedural matters and the explanations must refer strictly to the text that made the object of the vote. The new Regulation sparked stormy debates, especially as the Power allotted only two minutes for debates.
The Opposition rejected this restriction, saying it is incorrect to rush such an important matter. “This turns us into a Third World Parliament,” protested the leader of the PNL group in the Chamber of Deputies, Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

The changes brought by PDL yesterday come against the background of several political moves which the acting Power has made to consolidate its position vs. PSD and PNL.

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