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March 23, 2023

No conflict of interests for Constitutional Court judges, ANI says

USL accused the judges of incompatibility, after receiving three blows from CCR in one day.

The National Agency for Integrity (ANI) is taking the side of Constitutional Court (CCR) judges. Upon the request of the mass-media, ANI said yesterday CCR judges Augustin Zegrean (photo) and Iulia Motoc were not in any of the situations specified by the Law on the Legal Regime of Incompatibilities.The Constitutional Court (CCR) on Wednesday applied three tough blows on USL: It decided that the president represents the country at the European Council, ruled the plurality voting law unconstitutional and rejected the Education Law modification requested by the party clientele. Two outstanding PSD members immediately attacked the Constitutional Court. The first was Victor Ponta, who accused the CCR judges of carrying out Basescu’s orders. The second was Justice Minister Titus Corlatean, who said, on Romania TV, that Augustin Zegrean and Iulia Motoc, CCR judges, were incompatible. As mentioned above, ANI shortly announced that the two judges were not incompatible with their position. In a communiqué issued yesterday, the CCR blames the attacks coming from the government and other public authorities as being incompatible with the democratic exercise, while the threatening regarding revocation and any other pressures are decisively influencing the judges’ activities. Justice Minister Titus Corlatean said on Romania TV, Wednesday night, that two Constitutional Court judges were in a situation of incompatibility. He nominated CCR President Augustin Zegrean and judge Iulia Motoc. Titus Corlatean said about CCR President Zegrean that “he had pronounced himself ex ante on the matter CCR has ruled on Wednesday, about who should and who should not go to Brussels in May, before the Parliament’s vote adopting the declaration that approved the elements of the prime minister’s mandate. Zegrean stated in public that the president must represent Romania. It is an interdiction in the CCR Law to give an opinion ex ante on matters that need to be treated with discretion, behind closed doors. It is a flagrant violation of the legal provisions. And, today, the gentleman who is the president of CCR, not only voted, but probably played a crucial role in the making of those decisions.” As far as Iulia Motoc is concerned, the minister said that, apart from being a CCR judge, she also has there other engagements. ‘Two of them are mentioned in the posted CV’, Corlatean said. He addressed ‘a question to the CCR president and CCR members, who had an obligation to ascertain the state of incompatibility in plenary sitting, which they did not.’ ‘The CCR Law establishes very clearly that the position as a judge is incompatible with any other public or private position’, Corlatean said. On the other hand, judge Iulia Motoc answered Minister Titus Corlatean in a Facebook post. ‘On the statement the minister of justice made on my incompatibility, I remind of the following: 1. The capacity as an expert of an international body is not a public position. Several members of the Vienna Commission are Constitutional Court judges. 2. I am an unremunerated expert of the UN Committee on Human Rights and EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. These two capacities are not public positions’.

Iliescu: CCR ruling is a stupidity. Court is at Basescu’s disposal

PSD Honorary President on Iliescu was as quick in his statements as Ponta and Corlatean had been in their vehement reaction. He told ‘Gandul’ that the differences between Traian Basescu and Victor Ponta would be settled through constitutional ways and the impeachment could be a solution. Ion Iliescu said the CCR decision was ‘a stupidity. The ex-president said ‘it is not a secret’ that the president is being favoured by CCR. ‘It is at the disposal of the president. It gives him what he wants. The decision of the Constitutional Court is not a surprise. The Court issues consultative opinions, it has no decision-making rights. Its opinions are always in favour of the president. The president addresses this matter irrationally, unfortunately’, the Social Democrat added. PNL has also spoken against the CCR ruling. PNL MEP Norica Nicolai said, on RFI, that CCR should be reformed in order for its members not to be politicians, but people ‘selected by bench magistrates’. She said the premier would represent Romania at the European Council. On the other side of the barricade, ex-PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu said the CCR decision on the representation by the head of state at the European Council ‘was predictable’ and that he read into PM Victor Ponta’s reaction an ‘instigation to breaking the law’. On the plurality voting law, PNL MP Eugen Nicolaescu said the CCR ruling was ‘political’ and ‘blatantly’ aided PDL and Traian Basescu. He noted that USL wanted to continue its project.

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