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June 22, 2021
POLITICS

CCR: Provision on extension of term in office of SMAp head by President by up to one year, unconstitutional

The provision according to which the term in office of the Chief of the Defence Staff (SMAp) can be extended by the Romanian President by up to one year is unconstitutional, judges of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) decided on Tuesday.

CCR established that the phrase “with the possibility of prolonging it by up to one year” in art. 39 paragraph (5) of the Law no. 346/2006 regarding the organisation and functioning of the Ministry of National Defence (MApN) is unconstitutional.

In the trial in which the Ministry of National Defence asked for the cancellation of the decree signed by President Klaus Iohannis on the extension of the term in office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Nicolae Ciuca, the Bucharest Court of Appeals filed a constitutionality challenge with the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) in relation to an article on the organisation and functioning of the MApN.

The criticized provisions have the following content: “The Chief of the Defence Staff is the army’s highest rank, appointed by the President of Romania, at the proposal of the Minister of National Defence, with the Prime Minister’s opinion, for a period of 4 years, with the possibility of extending it for up to one year.”

“Following deliberations, the Constitutional Court unanimously accepted the constitutionality challenge and found that the phrase ‘with the possibility of extending it for up to one year” in the article 39 paragraph (5) of the Law no.346/2006 on the organisation and functioning of the Ministry of National Defence is unconstitutional,” the CCR said in a statement.

The Court held that the said phrase is devoid of clarity and thus violates the provisions of art. 1 paragraph (5) of the Constitution, as it does not stipulate the conditions and the procedure to be followed for extending the mandate of the Chief of the Defence Staff.

The decision is final and generally binding and is to be communicated to the two chambers of the Parliament, the Government and the court that brought the matter to the Constitutional Court.

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