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The President of Moldova may only once decline PM’s proposal of Cabinet reshuffle
Constitutional Court of Moldova adopted today, 24 of January, the Judgment on the interpretation of paras. 4 and 6 of the Article 98 of the Constitution, following the application lodged by the Liberal Party.
Examining the casefiles, the Court noted that the application mainly refers to procedure of Government reshuffle and sharing of competences between the President of Moldova and the Prime Minister within this procedure.
The Court mentioned that Article 98.6 of the Constitution shall be construed based on the principle of checks and balances, enshrined in Article 6 of the Basic Law. Relying on this principle, aiming at avoiding institutional deadlocks and ensuring well-functioning of the institutions, public authorities are under the duty to cooperate.
The Court held that within the parliamentary system of Moldova, the President of Moldova is conferred a number of competences expressly provided by the Constitution. Considering the President does not bear political responsibility for Government’s work, his role in shaping the composition of the Cabinet is a limited one.
The Court recalled that in its caselaw it held that, following the vote of confidence of the Parliament for the Government, the President of Moldova is not entitled to refrain from appointing the Government. Failing to execute constitutional duties by the President of the country would lead in this case to a violation of the principle of checks and balances, provided for by Article 6 of the Constitution (CCM’s Judgment no. 15/1999).
For the same reasons, CCM mentioned that the President of Moldova may decline the proposal of PM to appoint a person for a vacant ministerial office and to ask for another proposal, without it generating a source of institutional deadlock or annulling competences of the PM within the co-decision procedure in a Cabinet reshuffle.
In this context, rejecting a candidate proposed by the PM for a vacant ministerial office may occur only once and the refusal shall be a reasoned one, grounded on legal requirements incumbent on the office of a member of the Government.
In the event the President does not accept a candidate, the Prime Minister is entitled to come up with a second proposal for a candidate to the office of minister or to come up with the same proposal, and the President is under the duty to appoint [the second candidate - TN].
With regards to the period pertaining to appointing the Cabinet or a minister, as well as the refusal to appoint a minister in case of a Cabinet reshuffle, it shall be as short as possible, i.e. within 14 days, similar to the maximum allowed period to promulgate a law.
The Judgment of the Constitutional Court of Moldova is final, cannot be subject to any appeal, enters into force on the day of adoption, and is published in the Official Journal of Moldova.
When examining the application, the Court asked for the opinions of the Parliament, of the President of Moldova and of the Government. Presidential administration was the only authority to submit it.
The application was examined by the Court in the following composition: Mr Alexandru TĂNASE, president and Mr Aurel BĂIEŞU, Mr Igor DOLEA, Mr Tudor PANȚÎRU, Mr Victor POPA, Mr Veaceslav ZAPOROJAN, judges.
This press-release is also available in its original version – in Romanian language.