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The text of the briefing held by the President of the Constitutional Court, Domnica Manole, on 18 January 2021 (self-dissolution of the Parliament)


Dear citizens,

Dear representatives of the media,

Today, the Constitutional Court has ruled on an application that has recently been the subject of intense public discussions in our society.

The application refers to the possibility of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to dissolve itself.

More precisely, the authors of the application requested the Court to explain, by interpreting Articles 2 para. (1), 60 para. (1), 61 paras. (1) and (2) and 66 a) of the Constitution, if self-dissolution of Parliament is possible by adopting a decision with the vote of a qualified majority (of two-thirds) of MPs.

The Court noted the existence of a previous Judgment which contains an answer for this application. That is the Constitutional Court’s Decision no. 31 of 10 November 1997 where the operative part of the decision provides, among others, that “the dissolution of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova before the expiration of four-year term is possible only under the conditions provided by Article 85 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova”.

In fact, by this Decision, the Court implemented the rule according to which the clear texts should not be interpreted. Article 85 of the Constitution provides two clear cases of Parliament dissolution: the impossibility of forming the Government and the blockage procedure of adopting the laws for a period of three months.

In its case-law, the Court found that the need for interpretation must be confirmed by the uncertain and irregular nature of the constitutional provisions. The Court underlined that it cannot proceed to the interpretation of some Articles of the Constitution when the Constitution contains, in a different Article, the answer to the issue raised in an application, or when its own decisions cover the subject.

Both Article 85 para. (1) of the Constitution and the Decision of the Constitutional Court no. 31 of 10 November 1997 contain the solution for the case adjudicated today, a solution which knows no exceptions and which, therefore, does not claim interpretations.

The Court emphasized that its interpretation is an abstract interpretation and has a general nature. Just as the Court does not analyze hypothetical situations without arguing the alleged ambiguity of the Constitution, the Court does not interpret the Constitution considering the infra-constitutional norms or the current political circumstances, when there exists a clear constitutional text. For this reason, the references of the authors of the application to Law no. 1609 of 14 October 1993 on Parliamentary elections, which provided, before being repealed, the possibility of self-dissolution of Parliament, to the provisions of the Electoral Code abolished or in force or to the political statements of parliamentary parties, which would facilitate the implementation of political strategies, could not be retained.

Moreover, the Court noted that in other state practices invoked by the authors of the application, where the self-dissolution of the Parliament is allowed, such a procedure is expressly provided in the text of the Constitution.

The Court noted that Article 85 of the Constitution explicitly provides the dissolution as a sanction for an inactive Parliament, in terms of the impossibility of forming a Government and in terms of blocking the procedure for adopting laws for a period of three months. Dissolution may operate only if the inactivity is imputable to Parliament, not if it is imputable to other public authorities and political actors.

The Court underlined that, according to the constitutional provisions, the attribution of the dissolution of Parliament belongs exclusively to the President of the Republic, and it may be exercised only under the conditions and according to the expressly provided procedures in the Supreme Law.

Consequently, the Court decided to declare the application inadmissible.

Thank you!

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