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November 29, 2022

CCR publishes reasoning for its September 28 ruling: Lawmakers’ facsimile signatures for censure motion are valid

The Constitutional Court argues that the lawmakers can submit their signatures for the initiation of a censure motion both in original and in copy by telex/fax/photocopier/scanner/photograph, stressing that checking whether signature lists bear erasure traces or underlines does not fall under its competence.

The Court explains that neither the Constitution nor the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure do not contain express provisions regarding the way in which the handwritten signatures of the censure motion initiators should be submitted – in original or facsimile – so that regardless of the submission form, the list with the lawmakers’ signatures enjoys the presumption of veracity.

The Constitutional Court of Romania on Monday published  the reasoning for its September 28 ruling, by which it upheld Prime Minister Florin Citu’s notification about the existence of a legal conflict between Parliament and the government over the censure motion filed by USR PLUS and the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), but the judges determined then that the motion can be debated and voted on.

One of the issues raised by the government referred to multiple irregularities found with the initial signature tables (photocopied/scanned signatures, signatures with erasure traces/corrections, suspicions regarding the veracity of the signatures), and to the fact that tables with another 34 handwritten signatures had been added subsequently.

In its reasoning, the Constitutional Court argues that whereas the censure motion submitted by USR PLUS and AUR was signed by 124 deputies and senators (the minimum number required for its initiation was 117 – a quarter of the total number of MPs), there are no express provisions in either the Constitution or Parliament’s Rules of Procedure on how the lists with the MP signatures in support of the motion should be submitted, so that, regardless of the means of submission, the deputy or senator’s signature expresses their unequivocal will to initiate the censure motion.

With regard to the fact that 34 of the 124 signatures submitted on September 3, 2021 have been “re-submitted” on September 6, 2021 in original, the Court considers this to be just the confirmation by the authors of the censure motion that the initially submitted signatures are true to reality and reinforces their commitment to initiate a censure motion, Agerpres informs.

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