Moldova – Constitutional Court responds to Communist Party inquiry

The Court also wrote that in order to ensure a continuity of state power, speaker becomes Acting president from the moment the presidential post becomes vacant.

The Republic of Moldova’s Constitutional Court has ruled that Parliament Speaker becomes Acting President immediately upon the outgoing president’s resignation, the Court wrote in the decision it passed on Tuesday against the inquiry lodged earlier by the parliamentary opposition Communist Party (MCP).

The document also said that a decision on investing Speaker with the presidential authority is taken by parliament, and that a Constitutional Court’s conclusion bears a consultative character.

“If in his resignation application the President indicates a resignation date, then the Constitutional Court’s conclusion a priori bears a consultative character. But if the head of state does not indicate a resignation date, the resignation decision is approved by parliament, and the Constitutional Court subsequently states whether there were any violations or not”, the CC decision said.

The Court also wrote that in order to ensure a continuity of state power, speaker becomes Acting president from the moment the presidential post becomes vacant.

The CC also explained that the performing of presidential duties is a temporary function, and that Acting president must not necessarily meet all criteria for a head of state.

The Constitutional Court has thus confirmed de facto that the procedure of investing Speaker Mihai Ghimpu with the powers of an Acting President was correct. The Communists requested the Court to interpret in detail Articles 90, 91 and 135 in the Constitution determining the order of performing the functions of president.

The previous President of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, tendered resignation on September 11. By law, until the election of next president, presidential duties are performed by Parliament Speaker, but the Constitutional Court is supposed to approve this decision of the Parliament’s. The Parliament then took notice of Voronin’s retirement application, announced the post vacant, and appointed Ghimpu as Acting president. The Communists claimed, however, that the parliamentary majority had violated the legislation at appointing Ghimpu. They stated the Parliament should have taken notice of the president’s resignation and should have addressed to the Constitutional Court for approval of that decision and for declaring the supreme post as vacant. And it is only upon such CC decision that the Parliament is eligible to entrust presidential duties to the parliament chairperson. But on September 17 the Constitutional Court left the Parliament’s decision in force.

MCP’s Permanent Representative at the Constitutional Court Sergiu Sirbu said, “We realize the situation cannot be changed now. But the Constitutional Court should make everything clear so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. As a matter of fact, President Voronin resigned last September 11, and the Parliament took notice of that. However, the ex-president kept on signing presidential decrees throughout that day, while Mihai Ghimpu assumed the presidential office only on September 14, and the Constitutional Court formulated its stance on the issue only on September 17. We believe it is necessary to clarify also if an acting president of Moldova must be not younger than 40 years of age, and whether or not he or she must correspond to the requirements to be met with President”.

The MCP spokesman could not avail himself of the right to ask questions because no representatives of the parliamentary majority attended the Constitutional Court session today. Sergiu Sirbu stated to journalists after the session he was satisfied with the decision passed by the Constitutional Court, “which gave answers to all the questions that were in our inquiry”.

Check Also

Turkey’s Erdogan Plots Power Grab Over Lawyers’ Organisations

Angered by their continued independence and support for democracy and secularism, the Turkish strongman is …