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July 26, 2021

General Prosecution Office closes Constitutional Court Erratum case

The General Prosecution Office closed the Constitutional Court Erratum case that investigated the way the judges of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) issued in 2012 a decision on the organization of the referendum to unseat former President Traian Basescu.

The case was opened after several criminal complaints were filed against CCR judges, claiming they had illegally issued an erratum to a decision adopted in August 2012, ruling that the Romanians in the diaspora must also be taken in consideration in determining the electoral threshold.

The facts investigated by the prosecutors were abuse of office, forgery and use of forgery in official documents, but no one was indicted.

On August 2, 2012, the Constitutional Court of Romania adopted a decision on the organization of the referendum, but found later on that this lacked the legal ground to establish the total number of voters who were supposed to express their opinion at the referendum that had already taken place on July 29, 2012.

An erratum was added after the publication of the initial ruling, mentioning that all enfranchised persons were to be taken into account, namely over 18 million Romanians.

The erratum blocked the Government’s initiative to conduct a mini-census to strike off the election rolls the Romanians who had left the country since long.

The erratum was drawn up and signed by judge Stefan Minea, who also sent the publication note to the Government and the Official Journal.

Based on the erratum, the referendum was declared invalid because, of the total 18,292,464 people entered on the permanent electoral rolls, only 8,459,053 people (46.24 percent) had participated in the ballot, so that the participation threshold of at least half plus one of the number of registered voters had not been met.

Subsequently, three of the Constitutional Court judges – Ion Predescu, Tudorel Toader and Acsinte Gaspar – said they had not been consulted on the erratum and that the referendum should have been validated because the number of 18,292,464 voters on the permanent electoral rolls taken as reference in the referendum validation ruling does not reflect the current structure and size of the voter base.

In their opinion, the Romanian citizens residing abroad and those with expired identity documents should have been struck off the permanent electoral rolls.

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