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January 19, 2022

Constitution revising committee unveils calendar of proceedings

The proposals of modifying the Constitution may be submitted until May 15.

The chairman of the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution, Crin Antonescu said Wednesday evening, at the conclusion of a session of this body, that the proposals for amending the fundamental Law may be submitted until May 15, the calendar being adopted through consensus by the members of the Committee. Antonescu explained that the Constitution revising Committee adopted its functioning regulation and decisions will be made with a two-thirds majority. He announced that the next session of the Committee is scheduled for March 13 and, until March 11, parliamentary groups or individual legislators may submit thesis-based proposals for modifying the fundamental Law. Moreover, the Constitutional Forum coordinated by political analyst Cristian Parvulescu, which will hold its proceedings in parallel with the Committee, will gather all the proposals made by the civil society. Antonescu mentioned that the members of this body will attend, on March 7, a debate organised by the Romanian Academic Society about the revision of the Constitution. As for the access of the press to the proceedings of the Committee, the speaker of the Senate announced that the presence of the press, and what media will witness the proceedings will be decided at the beginning of each session. In his opinion, non-stop coverage by televisions would impede to the proceedings, because some members of the Committee may wish to “hear themselves speaking” on TV.

Maybe we should impose through the Constitution that former presidents may not return in politics, Antonescu says

On the other hand, Crin Antonescu said that he considers the possibility of setting in place, through the Constitution, an interdiction for former heads of state to return in politics, which would consolidate the impartiality of the person who is president of Romania. The statement of the PNL leader came in the context of an announcement made by President Traian Basescu about his intention to remain in politics after the end of his mandate, in 2014. “If we want to have, in the future, a president as unbiased as can be, perhaps completely unbiased if possible, a president that will no longer represent the interests of a party, maybe this should be also imposed by law, or by Constitution. When you become president, do your mandate as president and be aware that you ended all dealings with parties, as you will not return in politics afterwards,” Antonescu explained.

UDMR wants bicameralism, proportional system and 5 pc electoral threshold

Referring to the modification of the Constitution, UDMR president Kelemen Hunor said that the Union supports the maintaining of a bicameral Parliament, the 5 pc electoral threshold and a proportional system in the elections for the Parliament. According to the same source, UDMR supports the changing of the electoral system in 2013.“We agree replacing this electoral system, I think we should hold the debates in parallel to the debates over the Constitution and, after the Constitution gets approved through referendum, the amending of the Constitution, we also vote the electoral system in Parliament, so we have a clear system at the end of 2013,” Kelemen explained, quoted by realitatea.net.

Parvulescu, disputed as head of the Constitutional ForumThe revision of the Constitution and the activity of the Constitutional Forum sparked various reactions among NGOs. If Pro Democratia and Cristian Parvulescu, appointed as coordinator of the Forum’s proceedings, declare themselves pleased with the reactions received from the civil society, others are rather reserved. Adrian Moraru, executive director of the Institute for Public Policies disputes the capacity of the present political class to produce a good Constitution, as well as Parvulescu’s competence to lead the Forum. Moraru believes that the Constitutional Forum “is a sinecure for Cristian Parvulescu, who did another odd thing: the electoral law that gave us a Parliament with over 500 people.” “I was expecting to see appointed someone who really understands the Constitution. Parvulescu knows and can comment as much as I do…” Moraru said for rtv.net.


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