Ombudsman criticises Constitutional Court

Ombudsman Ion Muraru said in an interview to Mediafax yesterday that the Constitutional Court “tricked” him in a very cunning manner when it tried the matter of allowing pensioners to earn both retirement benefits and a wage. Muraru said that at the end of 2008, he notified the court about a government emergency ordinance banning pensioners from working and being paid while benefiting from retirement benefits at the same time. The court accepted his petition, but only on procedural issues, so the government eventually found a different method to enforce the project, Muraru said. “I think it was rushed, both from the court and from the government,” the Ombudsman explained. He also said that in his opinion, many decisions of the Constitutional Court, especially those issued in the last couple of years, can be criticised.

In the interview, Muraru, whose second term as Ombudsman expired earlier this month, said that after 19 years of work at the top of the most important state institutions, he no longer wants to work in the public sector. Voicing his disappointment with the state of affairs in Romania at the moment, Muraru also said that he will not accept any distinctions from state institutions because this is “a demagogic, false practice.” The Ombudsman also said that he was particularly disappointed by the last couple of years, because state institutions have been becoming more inefficient.

A successor for Muraru as Ombudsman has not yet been appointed by Parliament although his term ended on May 10. He is a prominent constitutional law specialist, who worked on developing the 1991 Constitution, after which he was a Constitutional Court judge for nine years. He was named Ombudsman in 2001 and in 2006 got another five-year term on the job.

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