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January 27, 2021

Grindeanu notifies CCR that the secrecy of the ballots was disregarded at no-confidence vote

Sorin Grindeanu has lodged with the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) a notification in which he points out that the secrecy of the ballots was not respected during the June 21st vote on the no-confidence motion, a fact that led to a conflict of a constitutional nature between the branches of government, given the motion’s effect on his Cabinet. Grindeanu points out that he does not ask for the motion to be rescinded but for stipulations that would, in the future, impose a revote in similar situations.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu complains to the Constitutional Court that some MPs voted on the no-confidence motion while displaying their ballots, which runs counter to the stipulations of the Lower Chamber and Senate’s joint regulations, which explicitly stipulates secret voting on no-confidence motions.

“The exercise of the MPs’ mandate must be characterised, among other exigencies, by the observance of the principle of legality and good faith, by expressing the vote in strict concordance with the interests of the electorate that offered the MP’s mandate and with the MP’s own conviction,” Grindeanu wrote.

He claims that the regulations he invoked should contain supplementary stipulations that would deal with the situation in which the secrecy of the vote is not ensured. “I consider of interest the possible supplementation of the regulations concerning the joint activities of the Lower Chamber and Senate, with norms that would stipulate a revote in case the concrete unfolding of parliamentary procedures does not observe the regulatory provisions,” the document reads.

The Premier argues that the failure to respect the secrecy of the vote at the no-confidence motion that ousted his Government created a conflict of a constitutional nature between branches of government, through the effects that the adoption of the motion generated.

“Without demanding the annulment of the no-confidence motion, I ask you to examine the conditions in which MPs voted on this motion and to impose Parliament to observe, in the future, the constitutional and legal provisions on ensuring the secret character of the vote cast by MPs,” reads the notification sent to the Constitutional Court.

On Wednesday, caretaker PM Sorin Grindeanu stated that he hopes the Government’s General Secretariat (SGG) “would find a solution by tomorrow,” in order to send, on behalf of the Government, a request for the Constitutional Court to find a way “to protect the right of MPs to express their vote without any constraint,” pointing out that the “show” seen at the no-confidence vote should no longer occur in the Romanian Parliament and that the vote should be secret.

“What happened at the no-confidence motion, that spectacle featuring rows of filters and the displaying of the ballots, should no longer happen in the Romanian Parliament. It’s an issue that has to do with the law, dignity and honour alike. I’ve asked the General Secretariat, maybe they’ll find a solution by tomorrow, to lodge a request with the Constitutional Court, on behalf of the Government, for us to find a way of protecting the MPs’ right to express their vote without any constraint. The vote must be secret,” Sorin Grindeanu stated.

He expressed hope that a solution would be found “to put a stop to these practices, especially in Romania’s Parliament.”

“I hope they’d find a solution. I repeat, for the future, for what will come afterward. It’s good for the health of our democracy for us to have this. If the General Secretariat does not find it by tomorrow, maybe the future governmental team will find a solution to notify the Court and to say ‘stop’ to these practices, particularly within the Romanian Parliament,” Grindeanu underscored.

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