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October 25, 2021

Parliament wants extra information before lifting MPs immunity

MPs want to have access to the evidence included in the files concerning their colleagues before approving any search, detainment, arrest or start of criminal prosecution request against them. At the same time, MPs want the Parliament’s decisions on parliamentary immunity to be final and executory.

The draft modification of the MPs’ statute contains a provision according to which the Justice Minister should send a series of supplementary documents when asking for an MP to be searched, arrested or detained, adevarul.ro informs. The minister’s request would have to contain the evidence, the legal basis and the concrete reasons included in the file concerning the MP. Such a provision is a first for the statute so far. According to Mediafax, the draft also contains a provision according to which the decisions taken by the Senate, the Lower Chamber and the Permanent Bureaus are final, executory and mandatory for any public authority. Thus, article 21 of the statute will be modified, the following paragraph being inserted: “The Lower Chamber’s and Senate’s decisions, as well as those of the two Chambers’ Permanent Bureaus, adopted in what concerns parliamentary immunity, are final and executory, mandatory for any public authority and will be implemented immediately. The Justice Ministry is responsible for the implementation of these decisions.”The final form of the modifications brought to the statute of MPs could be reached on today when amendments will be filed. Group leaders will then assume the final form in order to make it a draft law that will be introduced on the agenda next week. MPs are thus trying to avoid the possibility of seeing the reopening of cases that they have already closed, the aforementioned source points out. On September 11 last year the Lower Chamber turned down the requests to approve the start of the criminal prosecution against former ministers Laszlo Borbely and Victor Paul Dobre. President Traian Basescu subsequently asked the Lower Chamber’s Permanent Bureau to re-discuss the Borbely and Dobre cases.

Incompatible MPs will have a choice

The draft modifications also contain other stipulations that will make MPs with incompatibility problems nervous. The new statute stipulates that if the National Integrity Agency (ANI) discovers that an MP is incompatible, during the MP’s term, the Parliament’s integrity commission will first file a report. In case the state of incompatibility is noted the MP will have the possibility of choosing between offices. According to the proposed draft modifications, the MP that finds himself in one of the situations of incompatibility stipulated in the Statute or in other special laws has 15 days at his disposal to notify the Permanent Bureau of the Chamber he is a member of. After the deadline expires the MP will have 30 days at his disposal to choose between his MP seat and the position incompatible with it, having to resign from one of the offices. The draft modifications introduce for the first time a sanction for the MPs that find themselves in a conflict of interests and against whom a final and irrevocable court ruling has been issued. The sanction consists of a ban of up to six months from the Parliament’s works.

Party-switchers to remain unaffiliated

The draft also points out that the MPs that leave their parliamentary group and do not join another become unaffiliated and cannot form their own parliamentary groups. At the same time, the draft proposes that parliamentary groups should be formed by MPs that ran in the elections on the lists of the same party or alliance or that ran as independent candidates and were elected.


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