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October 24, 2021

CCR president Zegrean: We risk having a defective Constitution

The changes brought to the way in which the president appoints the premier, unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Court of Romania’s (CCR) president Augustin Zegrean said on Sunday the Court judges ruled that 26 articles and paragraphs of the draft revision of the fundamental law are unconstitutional.
‘We proposed, for some articles, to be declared unconstitutional and be dropped from the constitution modification proposal. We made recommendations of modification or correlation of the texts for other articles. It seems natural to me that we should make such recommendations, for this is why we have been notified’ by the claims, the CCR chief stressed. Zegrean explained that if the Commission for the revision of the constitution, whereto the draft law is to return, fails to take into account the recommendations made by the CCR, ‘there is the risk of having a defective Constitution, with texts that are not correlated to each other, texts in which one article says the president does a certain thing and another article says the prime minister does that thing.’
The Constitutional Court decided Sunday, after analysing the draft law on the revision of the Constitution, that the modifications made to the way in which the president designates the candidate for the office of premier are unconstitutional. The draft law on the revision of the Constitution proposed that paragraph (1) of article 103 is modified as follows: “The president designates as candidate for the office of prime minister the representative proposed by the political party, respectively the political alliance participating in elections that obtained the highest number of parliamentary mandates, according to the official result of elections. If there are several political organisations that participated in elections and obtained the same number of mandates, the president designates as candidate for the office of prime minister the candidate proposed by the political party, respectively the political alliance participating in elections, which obtained the highest number of votes, according to the official result of elections.” The present Constitution rules that “the president of Romania designates a candidate for the office of prime minister after consulting the party that has the absolute majority in Parliament or, if no such majority exists, the parties represented in Parliament.” Among the texts found as unconstitutional by CCR is the modification according to which the natural and legal persons are obliged to come before a parliamentary committee. Other articles declared as unconstitutional refer to the secret of correspondence and the use of evidence obtained illegally. CC also rejected the article referring to the use of the own symbols of minorities.
Basescu: It’s a failure
President Traian Basescu argues that the constitutional revision draft supported by the ruling Social Liberal Union (USL) is a failure. ‘I do not think we can talk about postponement. I think we can write failure all over this revision attempt right now. They will still make a fuss in order to sweeten failure, but they will be unable to achieve their goals. For instance, one of their major objectives regarded the designation of the prime minister by some automatism, which is not possible in a democracy,’ Basescu told a talk show aired by B1 TV private broadcaster in reply to a question whether or not the constitutional revision will be postponed. Asked whether the failure should be ascribed to Prime Minister Victor Ponta or Senate Chairman Crin Antonescu, both co-chairs of USL, Basescu said this is USL’s failure.
The president added that the members of the Revision Committee were not professionals and that 85 articles are either unconstitutional, or have non-correlations, or were not written in a constitutional language. “They could as well have been written by guys living at the Chibrit Square and traffic ethnobotanical drugs,” Basescu said.
Antonescu wants to know from USD if the revision is still going to be done
PNL leader Crin Antonescu urged USD, the alliance made in view of the European elections by PSD with PC and UNPR, to say whether it still supports or not the revision of the Constitution. Given that the judges of the Constitutional Court rejected the article that constrains the president to observe the result of parliamentary elections, in order to avoid political crises, the liberal president asked the USD if they agree, because they said Sunday that they will uphold all the proposals made by the Constitutional Court.

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