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October 24, 2021

Zegrean on mayors’ defection ordinance: “We can’t coerce Parliament to do or not to do something”

Constitutional Court (CCR) President Augustin Zegrean claims that Parliament has to establish what happens after local representatives left one party for another last autumn by taking advantage of an emergency ordinance on the defection of mayors.

“The Constitution says that through the law on rejecting an emergency ordinance – this is the situation we are in because Parliament adopted such a law following our decision – Parliament has to establish what happens with the effects already generated,” Zegrean stated, being quoted by Mediafax.

At the same time however, the CCR President stated that the institution he leads cannot determine Parliament to act in this sense.

“We mentioned in the decision that Parliament has to decide. We have no way of coercing Parliament to do or not to do something,” the CCR judge added.

The Constitutional Court rejected on December 17, as unconstitutional, the emergency ordinance that allowed local representatives, within a period of 45 days that included the presidential elections campaign, to migrate from one party to another without losing their terms in office.

The CCR judges’ decision will have no effects for the mayors that decided to take advantage of the ordinance, however it forbids such a legislative measure from being taken again in the future.

During the 45 days in which the ordinance was in force, from September 2 to October 16, over 300 local representatives transferred themselves from opposition parties to ruling coalition parties.

PSD was the biggest beneficiary of the law, recruiting no fewer than 260 mayors and local council members. The Social-Democrats were followed by UNPR and Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s PLR, a party yet to be officially registered in court.

As a result of this ordinance, last September PNL’s and PDL’s Lower Chamber groups sent a letter to the EU embassies in Romania, to the US diplomacy, as well as to the European Commission’s representative in Romania, pointing out that “PSD is making a three-pronged push to reinstate dictatorship in Romania.”

On February 24 the Lower Chamber’s Juridical Commission decided that local representatives that joined other parties as a result of the emergency ordinance will not lose their terms in office.


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