The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) will discuss on Thursday the appeal filed by PNL, USR and PMP against the law that empowers the Government to issue ordinances during the parliamentary recess. In its appeal, the Opposition argues that the legislative act allows the Government to take the Legislative’s place and that, at the same time, the law would allow the Grindeanu Government to modify organic laws by issuing simple ordinances, which goes against the Constitution, News.ro informs.
PNL, USR, PMP challenge constitutionality of law enabling Gov’t to pass ordinances
The National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP) have raised a constitutionality challenge with Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) in regards to the law empowering the Government to pass ordinances during the parliamentary recess, pointing out that it does not respect the rigors of the constitution.
“If they want to govern, PSD [Social Democratic Party, at rule] should respect the law and get to work, because they hold the parliamentary majority and can always issue emergency ordinances. The National Liberal Party monitors the observance of the law and considers that any governing act must respect these rigors, including the constitutional ones. For this reason, the PNL has submitted today the constitutionality challenge against the law empowering the Government to pass simple ordinances,” a National Liberal Party release remitted on Friday to AGERPRES shows.
The Liberals mention that this challenge is also supported by the USR and PMP members of parliament and has as a basis arguments invoked by the Legislative Council.
Furthermore, the National Liberal Party draws attention that the law does not respect constitutional rigors.
“The project exceeds the limits set down by the Constitution in article 115, paragraph 1, referring to the domain of organic laws which cannot be the subject of the law empowering the Government,” the Liberals claim.
According to the National Liberal Party, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea is spreading misinformation regarding an alleged “blocking of activity” of the Government generated by this demarche.
“In reality, Liviu Dragnea is using the confusion often spread in public space between simple ordinances and emergency ordinances. Nothing blocks the Dragnea – Grindeanu Government from putting into practice its desired initiatives through emergency ordinances, until the resolving of the challenge by the CCR. We do not doubt that the current Government will use this instrument and will prove political will in this sense,” PNL emphasizes.
In the challenge submitted, mention is also made that the law is infringing the principle of separation and balance of state powers.
“The law regarding the empowering of the Government to issue ordinances does not have a concise, sober, clear and precise character that would exclude any doubts,” PNL says.
The challenge was signed by 53 PNL, 25 USR, and 10 PMP MPs.
The Parliament adopted on Thursday the law empowering the Government to issue ordinances.
Liviu Dragnea: Will convene extraordinary parliamentary session for Gov’t to be able to issue ordinances
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday evening that an extraordinary session will be convened on Monday to give the Government the possibility to issue ordinances, considering that the law empowering the Government to do so during the parliamentary recess has been challenged at the CCR.
“The Government will send bills, we will adopt them and President Iohannis will promulgate them. (…) If, in upcoming days, we reach the conclusion that this is the intent (postponing the promulgation of some laws – editor’s note), maybe the Government will issue emergency ordinances, because Romania cannot remain gridlocked because of vanity or fits of anger. Romania needs laws. If this is the intention, and I’m starting to see that the intention is to block the enforcement of the laws or their promulgation, then the Government can adopt ordinances, because people need the measures we have promised,” Liviu Dragnea said on Romania TV.
He levied accusations against the Opposition parties that challenged the law empowering the Government to issue ordinances.
“In the following days both we and the Government will carefully analyse all gestures and actions, including those of the Opposition. It is maybe the first case in which a law empowering the Government to manage the country during the parliamentary recess, namely to issue ordinances, is being attacked at the Constitutional Court. There is only one goal here, that of blocking the Government’s activity, the state’s activity. For this reason, tomorrow we will convene Parliament in extraordinary session. Why? For the Government to be able to issue ordinances. We’ve seen that the desire is for this Government to be blocked; very well, we are using all legal and constitutional levers we have to create for the Government the conditions to govern,” Liviu Dragnea added.
According to the Constitution, Parliament can adopt a special law empowering the Government to issue ordinances in domains that do not concern organic laws. The empowerment law will mandatorily establish the domain in which and the date up to which ordinances can be issued. If the empowerment law requires it, the ordinances are subjected to Parliament’s approval, in line with the legislative procedure, until the deadline is reached. The ordinance’s effects cease if the deadline is not respected. The Government can adopt emergency ordinances only in extraordinary situations whose regulation cannot be postponed, and it must argue the urgency in the ordinances’ text. The emergency ordinance comes into force only after it is filed for debate, through emergency procedure, within the relevant Chamber and after it is published in Romania’s Official Journal. If they are in recess, the Chambers are mandatorily convened within a period of 5 days since the ordinance is filed.
Lower Chamber, extraordinary session on January 9-31
The Lower Chamber will be in extraordinary session on January 9-31, Lower Chamber Secretary Ioana Bran announced Monday.
According to her, the Lower Chamber and Senate Joint Standing Bureaus meeting will take place at 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Bran pointed out that the extraordinary session’s agenda includes the debate and voting of three bills, namely bill 303/28.06.2016, bill 415/10.10.2016 and bill 838/25.11.2015. According to Social Democrat sources, the bills will be rejected.
The first two bills are the emergency ordinances concerning the purchase of the ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ sculpture.
“We convened extraordinary session of Deputies’ Chamber to give Government possibility to work”
The Deputies’ Chamber entered in extraordinary session until 31 January in order to give the Government possibility to work, Speaker of the legislative forum and Social-Democrat Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday.
“We had a Standing Bureau of the Deputies’ Chamber convened with a precise purpose, namely the convocation of the Deputies’ Chamber in extraordinary session in order to give the Government the possibility to work. The National Liberal Party (PNL) challenged with the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) the law regarding the Government empowerment to issue ordinances, namely to be able to work in the period of parliamentary recess. In order to remove the Government from this situation, starting today the Chamber of Deputies entered in extraordinary session, so basically it is working until 31 January, on 1 February it will start the normal session,” Dragnea mentioned at the Parliament.
Moreover, he revealed that in this extraordinary session, it was decided, besides the bills that already are on the agenda of the specialist committees, to be debated in committees, reports to be drawn and possibly brought to the plenary meeting in order to receive the final vote, three ordinances – the two ordinances through which it is regulated the acquisition procedure of the “Wisdom of the earth” art work and the ordinance “through which dignitaries’ salaries were risen unjustifiably.” “It is an ordinance that I want to be rejected, namely the dignitaries’ salaries to return to the value they had before this ordinance,” the Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader stated.
Nicusor Dan: Extraordinary session, pretext for Gov’t to issue emergency ordinances
USR President Nicusor Dan stated on Monday that the Lower Chamber’s extraordinary session is only a pretext for the Government to be able to issue emergency ordinances so as to “surmount” the empowering law that the Opposition has challenged at the Constitutional Court.
“We do not fear an extraordinary session, however the fact that you convene a Chamber of Parliament because you were unable to write a good empowering law is shameful and abusive in my opinion. Meaning this extraordinary session is only a pretext for the Government to be able to issue emergency ordinances and thus to surmount that bill that we have challenged at the Constitutional Court,” Nicusor Dan said.