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11.06
2019

Constitutional Court of Moldova Rejects Recent Criticism

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The Constitutional Court of Moldova regrets the vehement attacks against it and condemns the political pressures it is being subject to lately. 

In a state anchored in the values of democracy and rule of law, with an established constitutional court, the judgments and decisions of the latter must be given the fair weight, considering its role as the sole interpreter of the Basic Law. 

It is the Constitutional Court which is the only authority independent of any other authority, abiding only by the Constitution. 

Judges of the Court are immovable during their term of office. Their interpretations have constitutional force. Any influence or interference from the political class of the country or from abroad is inadmissible and should be treated as an attack against the Constitution. 

Any conflict which is being brought before the Court has contradictory positions of the parties and they may be dissatisfied with the solution rendered by it. However, once a judgment or a decision has been delivered, it must be respected and enforced. It may be criticised only on scientific grounds and cannot be ignored. 

No political aim can justify the disregard and the attacks against the sole legitimate authority of constitutional jurisdiction and disconsideration of constitutional values of the rule of law and democracy. Those who call for the dissolution of the Court are, in fact, in the Republic of Moldova, enemies of democracy. 

All the acts of the Constitutional Court adopted were based on the provisions of the Constitution and on the constitutional case-law, observing the standards of legal reasoning. 

The Court's reasoning of the adopted acts will  be published shortly, translated and made available to the wide public. 

The Court urges all parties to exercise restraint and moderation. It requires state authorities to comply with the Constitution, the laws and the binding solutions of the Court. 

In order to eliminate a number of biases, prior to the publication of the reasoned judgments, the Court will provide below brief explanations of its acts of 7, 8 and 9 June 2019. 

(a) On the functioning of the Parliament after 7 June 2019: 

The application lodged with the Court by President Igor Dodon on the time-limit the Government may be formed was declared inadmissible. The Court held that the time-limit applicable to the formation of the Government has already been the subject-matter of a previous judgment and no new interpretation is needed. The term begins to run from the date the results of parliamentary elections are confirmed by the Court. In the political history of the Republic of Moldova, Article 85 of the Constitution has never been applied in relation to the dissolution of the Parliament due to the impossibility to form a government. The Court emphasised that three months amount to 90 days. It took into account the provisions of Article 386 para. (1) of the Civil Code. It applied a systematic approach. The 30-day fixed term avoids the time discrepancies that may exist in the event two processes of Parliament's dissolution occur, in situation where not all months of the year have the same number of days. 

The Constitutional Court does not engage, it dissociates itself from and it is not responsible for the fact that the political forces in the Parliament, elected by the citizens not only to form a Government but to also pass laws within the three-month term enshrined in the Constitution, have not managed to satisfy these imperatives. 

Following the expiry of the constitutional term of government formation and passing of laws, any action, even if politically appropriate domestically or externally, cannot justify the defiance of the Constitution and escape sanctions. This political deadlock must be solved only by constitutional means, that is by holding early parliamentary elections. 

(b) The Court's judgments on the election of the leading units of the Parliament and the Government and the adoption of other acts: 

By the Judgment no. 13 of 8 June 2019, the Constitutional Court interpreted Articles 63 and 85 of the Constitution, holding that the Parliament which is to be dissolved under Article 85 of the Basic Law may not enjoy the same status and competence as a Parliament whose mandate has expired. 

If the political forces have not reached a consensus as regards the constitutional term, they are responsible for the deadlock and the failure of the legislative forum. This parliamentary legislature can no longer function again and cannot resume its work. Once this deadline has been exceeded, the Constitution and the Court's consistent case-law require a constitutional sanction. The sanction consists in the dissolution of Parliament and the organisation of early democratic elections. 

Ignoring this reality by the Court would mean that the institution of dissolution is being silenced, which is in direct contradiction with the Constitutional Court's mission to guarantee the supremacy of the Constitution. 

All acts of Parliament voted after the time-limit on forming the Government's on June 8 and beyond are unconstitutional. After 7 June, when the term of Government’s formation and adoption of laws expired, Parliament is no longer functional and must be dissolved. Despite the fact that the judges of the Court have publicly announced, by Judgment no. 13 of 2019, that any act adopted after 7 June is unconstitutional, the MPs had ignored the authority of the Court and continued their unconstitutional practice, adopting legislative acts, forming leading units and voting a Government. 

Having been asked by two applications to deliver on this issue, the Court was aware of the importance of restoring constitutional order. It admitted the applications and declared unconstitutional the laws and decisions voted in disregard of the Constitution. In order to preclude other digressions from the Fundamental Law, the Court explained that the acts to be voted later will not enjoy the legal force that the Constitution normally attaches to it. 

(c) On the Interim President and dissolution of Parliament: 

By the operative part of the Judgment no. 13 of 8 June 2019, the Court noted that after the expiry of the constitutional term, the President of the Republic is bound to notify the Court without delay of the occurrence of the circumstances justifying the dissolution of the Parliament, subsequently issuing the dissolution decree and the setting of the date of the early elections. However, the President has disregarded this constitutional duty required under Article 85 of the Constitution, which has been reiterated over time in the case-law of the Court (see para. 75 of Judgment 30 of 1 October 2013, para. 37 of Judgment no. 29 of 24 November 2015 and para. 17 of the Constitutional Court’s Decision no. 13 of 16 December 2015). 

Thus, the Court found that by issuing the decrees appointing the candidate for the office of Prime Minister and appointing the Government, the President of the Republic has deliberately declined to observe a constitutional duty, i.e. he had declined to proceed with the dissolution procedure of the Parliament, thus triggering the interim appointment of the President. Where there is no Speaker elected in compliance with the Constitution, the interim shall lie with the Prime Minister in office. 

This is a courtesy translation from Romanian.

 
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