Constitutional Court (CCR) head Augustin Zegrean said on Wednesday that a minister who is also a member of Parliament may not be suspended by the president of the country and the law cannot be forced in any way in that respect. Zegrean commented on the conflict between the president and prime-minister, saying that ‘scandal is something common in Romania’.
Augustin Zegrean was asked if there was any way for a minister under criminal investigation for alleged offences committed outside the scope of his/her mandate to be suspended by the president.
‘If the minister is not a member of Parliament too. If the minister is not a member of Parliament, he/she may be suspended by the president. The president may ask the prosecutor’s office to place that person under investigation and then suspend him/her. This is what the law says. (…) How can you force it, if the law says how things are to be done? You may force things, you may do what you want, but the law states differently’, Zegrean said.
The CCR president would not say if the president vs. PM dispute over the latter’s resignation could qualify as a reason to alert the Court.
‘They know the Constitution very well, they have good advisers who can tell them what to do, we need not tell them that’, Zegrean pointed out.
Asked if the differences between the palaces had their source in the Constitution, Zegrean answered: ‘Is this a series, like the throne netting or what? No, I am not watching that… (…) I do not have that impression. The scandal has not started today. It is a common thing in Romania. It started some 25 years ago’.
Zegrean also commented on the statement made by High Court President Livia Stanciu, that ‘the law is not equal for all citizens’: ‘I don’t know how the president feels, but what she said is correct: no one is above the law’.