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June 27, 2022

Senate decision in Senator Dan Sova’s case, declared unconstitutional

Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) shows, in its motivation regarding the Dan Sova (photo) case, that the decision by which the Senate responds to the request to approve the retaining or arrest of a member of the Chamber must be adopted by respecting the constitutional dispositions referring to the quorum required for adoption.

More precisely, the quorum represents, according to the new Senate regulations, the majority of members attending the plenum meeting where a ballot is organized on the request filed by the General Prosecutors’ Office, by means of the Ministry of Justice, Agerpres announced.

“The Court established that, by Decree no. 32 issued on March 25, 2015, the Senate bases the result of the ballot on legal and regular dispositions opposed to the Constitution, that offer different legal effects that the ones stipulated by the Fundamental Law”.


The decision must be reached by the majority of attending members


According to the preamble of the decree, the decision referring to the approval of retaining and  preventive arrest of Senator Dan-Coman Sova received 79 votes for, 67 votes against and 5 canceled votes. Considering in the sole article the lack of fulfiling requirements demanded by article 24, paragraph 4 in the law of absolute majority in the case of approving the retaining and the preventive arrest, the Senate attributes to the result of the ballot a different legal effect than the one stipulated by the Constitution”, the CCR motivation pointed out.

“In conclusion, the Court establishes that the decision by the Senate is unconstitutional, by comparison with dispositions of article no. 1, paragraph 5 and article no. 76, paragraph 2 in the Constitution”, the quoted documents also points out.

Although CCR did not instruct members on the Parliament on what to do next, there are three options, according to Digi 24: restarting the vote, reinterpreting the initial vote and DNA issuing a new request to approve retaining and arrest of Dan Sova.


The ballot may be held again


Catalin Boboc, President of the Legal Committee in the Senate, explained, in a phone intervention on Antena 3, the second version that required a reinterpretation of the initial vote, when MPs have overruled the DNA request based on old rules.

“We have a public situation, a and recording of proceedings and stenography notes regarding the count of the ballot based on the respective request (by DNA – editor’s note). It would be easier to establish that the required number of votes had gathered. We may, based on that ballot, take note that the conditions were fulfilled”, Boboc explained, showing that the demand by DNA to approve Sova’s arrest might be approved this time.

The Constitutional Court decided on April 8 that the Senate assumes obligation to issue a decree showing that, on March 25, the conditions were not met to approve the DNA request to retain and place in preventive arrest Dan Sova. CCR also decided that the document would be sent to adequate authorities and published in the Official Monitor.

After the Monitor published the result, PNL submitted an appeal at CCR and the judges decided it was unconstitutional.



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