Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) postponed on Tuesday the discussions regarding the exception of unconstitutionality referring to the reports of incompatibility of local officials with the position of representative in the general assembly of companies of local interest, a case that concerns former Mayor of Sibiu, newly elected president Klaus Iohannis as well. The new date of discussions is December 16.
On Tuesday, The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) restarted discussions on the article in Law 161 / 2003 that determined ANI to declare the incompatibility of several local officials, including Romania’s newly elected President Klaus Iohannis. The nine constitutional judges decided to review the cause referring to the respective article, as it was decided that it needed additional discussing. CCR requested further information from the Appeal Court of Constanta that established the incompatibility of the Mayor of Tuzla
What the law says
The text discussed by the judges is from article no. 87, paragraph one, letter f) from Law 161 / 2003 that stipulates certain measures for granting transparency in exercising public dignities, public functions and in the business environment, in order to prevent and penalize corruption. The respective legal text says that local officials are incompatible if they also detain functions in general assemblies of companies of local interests or represent the state in general assemblies of companies of national interest.“The positions of Mayor and Vice-Mayor, General Mayor and Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Bucharest, President or Vice-President of the County Council are incompatible with (…) the position of representative of the administrative – territorial unit in general assembly of a trade company of local interest or representative of the state in the general assembly of a trade company of national interest”, says article no. 87, paragraph 1, letter f) from Law 161 / 2003.The article was analyzed on October 7 by Constitutional magistrates, who postponed issuing of a solution until November 3. On November 3, though, CCR decided that discussions must be restarted, and therefore established a new date for this case, on Tuesday, December 9.
The exception of unconstitutionality in the case of the Mayor of Tuzla
The exception of unconstitutionality was established by the Mayor of Tuzla commune in Constanta County, Constantin Micu, in the case of whom the National Agency of Integrity (ANI) has issued an incompatibility report, according to Mediafax. In July 2013, ANI announced that 22 local officials in the County Constanta had been in a position of incompatibility by simultaneously having a position of Mayor or Vice-Mayor and the quality of representative of the administrative – territorial unit in the General Assembly of the Shareholders of SC RAJA SA Constanta. One of them was Florin Constantin Micu, who had been in incompatibility from July 24, 2008 to June 29, 2009, according to ANI. Constantin Micu filed for an appeal regarding the ANI decision to the Appeal Court of Constanta, yet, on June 26, the Court overruled his request, as unfounded.
Similar situation for the newly elected president
Based on the same article of the law, ANI has also declared the incompatibility of the newly elected President Klaus Iohannis, former Mayor of Sibiu. On April 24, 2013, ANI announced it had established the alleged incompatibility of the Mayor of Sibiu, Klaus Iohannis who had simultaneously had the poition of representative of the municipality in the General Assembly of Shareholders in the companies SC Apa Canal SA in Sibiu, starting on August 5, 2010, and SC Pieţe SA, starting on April 30, 2009, which violates the respective law. In September 2013, Klaus Iohannis won the trial against ANI after the Appeal Court of Alba Iulia approved his litigation to the ANI evaluation report and ordered the cancelling of the decision. This verdict was appealed by ANI at the High Court of Cassation and Justice who approved the appeal in principle and established that the next term of the trial would be on January 14, 2015.
Zegrean explains what happens to local officials declared incompatible by ANI
CCR President Augustin Zegrean explained what would happen to local officials declared incompatible by ANI, depending on the decision reached by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, when the nine judges restart debates regarding the article in the Law 161 / 2003 that determined ANI to establish the incompatibility of many local officials, including Romania’s newly elected president Klaus Iohannis. Augustin Zegrean pointed out that local officials would not lose their position if the article establishing their incompatibility with the position of representative in the general assembly of trade companies of local interest was declared unconstitutional. Asked a question regarding the trials based on this article, the head of CCR explained. “They (local officials, editor’s note) win, the report issued by ANI is canceled. If the law stipulates no longer that they are in incompatibility, nobody can keep them in incompatibility any further. So they do not lose their position out of this reason”. Augustin Zegrean added, quoted by Agerpres, that he had received the demanded file from the Appeal of Constanta on the incompatibility case of Constantin Micu, Mayor of Tuzla.