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October 2, 2022

CCR rejects President Iohannis’ notification regarding modification of Law on organziation of referendum

Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) on Tuesday decided that the modifications brought to the Law on the organization of the referendum are constitutional, after rejecting as inadmissible the notification filed by President Klaus Iohannis.

According to as release of the CCR issued on Tuesday, the plenum of the Constitutional Court debated, as part of the control process before promulgation, the constitutionality challenge filed by the Romanian President in relation to the Law on the modification and supplementation of the Law no. 3/200 on the organization and holding of a referendum.

After debates, the Constitutional Court, with a majority of votes, rejected the constitutionality challenge as inadmissible.

The decision is final and mandatory and it shall be communicated to the Romanian President.

On May 18, Klaus Iohannis sent a notification to the Constitutional Court saying that the Law on the modification and supplementation of the Law no. 3/2000 on the organization and holding of a referendum, which refers to certain provisions concerning the referendum that has to be organized within a procedure to revise the Constitution, was unconstitutional.

At the end of December 2017, Deputies’ Chamber adopted the Referendum Law, and President Iohannis asked the Parliament to review it.

On April 4, the plenum of the Deputies’ Chamber, as a decisional body, adopted the Referendum Law with 195 pros, 71 cons and 6 abstentions, in its original form.

According to the text of the law, “citizens are called to express their will by voting at the national referendum regarding the review of the Constitution, on the last Sunday of the 30-day period provided by the Constitution, calculated from the date of the adoption by the Parliament of the draft constitutional law, and the Government has the obligation to inform people immediately on its text and on the date of the referendum, by means of mass communication”.

In the notification sent to CCR on May 18, President Klaus Iohannis mentions that, although it has been subject to the constitutionality control due to the notification of the Parliament’s members, the law still includes unconstitutional provisions.

(…) not just the object, but also the date of each referendum for each review of the Constitution should be established clearly and separately, only by the current Parliament. Acting differently would be similar to a restriction, made by the parliamentarians in whose mandate the criticized law was adopted, of the decisional power and the margin of appreciation of the Parliament which is currently exerting its mandate at the date when a review of the Constitution would take place; this behavior can be justified in the case of the constitutional legislator in certain limits and conditions stated y the Constitution, but it is not allowed to the ordinary or organic legislator. Therefore, establishing this date must be the attribute of the Parliament which is currently exerting its mandate when each initiative to review the Constitution occurs, since it is the only one able to specifically appreciate what are the most appropriate conditions in order for the citizens to express their will on that review of the Constitution, as a manner of exercising the national sovereignty provided by Art.2 para.(1) of the Fundamental Law” reads the notification sent to CCR by President Iohannis.

PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea stated that challenging the draft law amending the Referendum Law to the Constitutional Court is an abusive behavior of President Klaus Iohannis, who is blocking Romanians’ desire to express on reviewing the Constitution by redefining the family.

The law was challenged to CCR also by PNL and USR, but the notification was rejected by the Constitutional Court on May 3.

At the end of the last year, PNL and USR also notified the Constitutional Court on this draft law. The notification was accepted by CCR, and the draft law returned to the parliament to be harmonized with the Court’s decision, and then it was sent to be promulgated by the President, which asked for its review.

In the review request, President said that by the Decision no.612/2017, the Constitutional Court found that certain provisions of the above mentioned law are unconstitutional, establishing the existence of a legislative parallelism between the originally adopted text, the breach of the role of the Constitutional Court by introducing a two-day term in which the Parliament could have send the draft law on reviewing the Constitution to the Constitutional Court, and the fact that the date of a referendum for reviewing the Constitution must be established through a law, by the Parliament. After the Parliament reviewed the provisions that were found to be unconstitutional, it adopted the Law amending and complementing the Law no.3/2000 on organizing and holding the referendum in the form that was sent in order to be promulgated.


“PSD majority is voting laws dedicated to Dragnea; it is inconceivable”


President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday, when referring to the amendments brought in Parliament to the Criminal Procedure Code, that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) majority is voting laws dedicated to leader of the PSD Liviu Dragnea, adding that it is “simply inconceivable.”

“We see more and more clearly that the PSD is not just trying to amputate the President’s powers, but (…) also the powers of justice, which is very, very serious. The PSD majority is voting laws for their chief, they are voting laws for Dragnea, which is simply inconceivable,” Iohannis stated.

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