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March 29, 2023

Antonescu: We are for dismissing a minister by regular motion

PNL President Crin Antonescu presented some of the Constitution review ideas to be supported by Liberal MPs.

Antonescu, who is also the president of the commission in charge of reviewing the Constitution, said the MPs of the Liberal Party supported the idea that regular motions adopted by Parliament should automatically lead to the dismissal of the relevant minister and that, in the case of a Cabinet reshuffle, the president of the republic should no longer have the right to refuse to appoint a minister who has been approved by Parliament. ‘Let us clarify that the president has no opportunity decision to make in the case of a Cabinet reshuffle, in other words we should end this absurd situation where the president may simply not like the eyes, haircut, height or professional record of some minister-designate, but just one time – as the Constitutional Court decision tells us in the funniest possible way. It should be made very clear|: in case of Government reshuffle, the president’s mission is to ascertain again – like a public notary – the situation, just checking the conditions of legality – a person for whom the premier takes political responsibility, a person who is proposed to the Parliament to be voted,’ Antonescu said. The PNL leader said the Liberals were still for a bicameral system and for the Fundamental Law to stipulate a maximum number of MPs and to ‘strengthen the parliamentary character of Romanian democracy’. Antonescu noted the choice was to elect the president by universal suffrage, therefore he should have ‘notable powers in a well distinguished area, with the right and obligation to represent all the citizens of Romania’. He also noted that the prime minister would still hold ‘the biggest share of the executive power’ under the control and based on the mandate given to him by the Parliament. At the same time, Antonescu said there is openness for introducing a limit to the number of emergency ordinances the Government may adopt by a constitutional provision, but also for the limitation of the Government’s possibility to ask the Parliament to give it a vote of confidence to only once in a season.

The PNL leader also said the proportional system using lists in the case of the election of the members of Parliament had proved to bring ‘the biggest benefits’, but said it should be introduced to the electoral law rather than the Constitution. Antonescu said on Wednesday article 44 of the Fundamental Law did not need changing during the forthcoming constitutional review process, adding that there were enough provisions on the confiscation of illegally acquired assets as it was. He also said the articles on the regime of ownership in general could stay unchanged. PM Victor Ponta, on the other hand, had said on Monday he wanted to show that article 44 of the Constitution on property was reviewable, and that a decision to change it would just have to be assumed and backed by political will. The PNL president also said he was ‘sceptical’ about the inclusion in the Constitution of possible provisions designed to prevent political defection, as the prohibition of the imperative mandate could in no way be dropped. The Liberal leader was asked if any new provisions could be introduced to the new Constitution to prevent the migration of MPs between parties. ‘I am sceptical about constitutional provisions against the migration of politicians, because the main constitutional provision we cannot drop is the pone that expressly prohibits the imperative vote. But measures could be taken at least through the electoral law,’ the PNL president answered.

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