Parliamentary Majority Votes For Resignation of Constitutional Court Judges, Accusing them of Usurpation of Power
The Socialist-Shor deputies voted for the resignation of three judges of the Constitutional Court, accusing them of usurping the constitutional institution. The opposition describes it as an attack on the Constitutional Court and calls for protests.
The deputies of the Socialist Party accuse the constitutional judges Domnica Manole, Liuba Șova, and Nicolae Roșca of “usurping the Constitutional Court”. The statement was voted by 54 deputies from the Socialist-Shor parties.
In response, the Action and Solidarity Party deputies left the Parliament meeting and described the initiative as populist. According to them, the draft decision presents an attack on the Constitutional Court.
“We are boycotting the meeting in protest against another toxic initiative of the Socialist-Shor alliance, which is an attack on the Constitutional Court “, said the Interim President of the Action and Solidarity Party Igor Grosu.
“The statement has no legal effect. The Constitutional Court judges are irremovable, they cannot be dismissed before the mandate ends,” said the Action and Solidarity Party deputy Sergiu Litvinenco.
With 53 votes, the Socialist-Shor deputies annulled the decision of August 16, 2019, regarding the appointment of the President of the Constitutional Court, Domnica Manole. According to the Parliament, the Decision enters into force and is enforceable on the date of adoption and can be challenged, within 30 days, with a prior request addressed to the Parliament.
The Constitutional Court judges consider that the Socialist-Shor decision to demand the resignation of three constitutional judges “prejudices the rule of law” and the image of the Court. Also, the decision is exclusive of a political character.
”According to the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, such acts of produce only political effects. The judges of the Court respect the right to freedom of political expression of parliamentarians but reiterate that such statements harm the rule of law, the image of the Constitutional Court.”
”If the Parliament is not going to recognize the Constitutional Court’s decision of April 15 regarding the existence of the circumstances of dissolution of the Parliament, the judges of the High Court restate that the decisions of the Court are final and cannot be challenged. Also, they are mandatory for all state authorities,” said the press release issued by Constitutional Court.
The Socialist deputies do not know the text and the meaning of the Constitution. This is what the constitutional experts say about the Socialist-Shor decision. The Supreme Law says that magistrates of the High Court cannot be dismissed by Parliament or any other institution. Constitutional expert Alexandru Arseni told ZdG that the decision has no legislative value or cannot have any consequences on the magistrates’ mandates, because the judges of the Constitutional Court are irremovable.
“Judges of the Constitutional Court cannot be dismissed by the Parliament because they, in accordance the Constitution are irremovable during their term of office. They are independent in the exercise of their duties. Their vote and decision shall be final and shall not be subject to any appeal. Only if their decision is clearly illegal. In our case, we refer to the finding of the circumstances that dissolve the Parliament, it is in strict accordance with the Constitution, which means that the Socialist faction absolutely does not know the Constitution or the meaning of the Constitution,” the constitutionalist Alexandru Arseni told us.
The former President of the Constitutional Court, Alexandru Tănase, qualified Parliament’s decision as political disqualifying acts that reflects the views of those who voted.
”Both the recognition of the “captive character of the Constitutional Court” and the decision to revoke the President of the Court Domnica Manole are disqualifying acts for some politicians who respect themselves and who respect the values of the rule of law. The statement on the recognition of the “captive nature of the Constitutional Court” is a political statement that reflects the views of those who voted for it and should be treated as such,” writes on Facebook the former president of Constitutional Court Alexandru Tănase.
According to the Supreme Law, the judges of the Constitutional Court cannot be dismissed by the Parliament or by any other institution. The judges of the Constitutional Court are irremovable and independent during their term of office.
The President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, called on all state institutions to comply with the Constitution. Parliament and the executive power must respect the role of the Constitutional Court as the “guardian of the Constitution”, even when they are dissatisfied with a decision. Also, the official stated that there is no “vote of no confidence in the judges of the Constitutional Court” under the Constitution Moldova. Gianni Buquicchio called on the Moldovan Parliament to cancel its unconstitutional declaration and decisions and to respect the past and future decisions of the Constitutional Court even when it does not agree with them.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel posted messages on Twitter urging Chișinău politicians to abide by the Constitution and the rule of law. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell says that the deputies’ votes against the Constitutional Court are a blatant attack on Moldova’s constitutional order and an attempt to undermine the rule of law.
The interim leader of the Action and Solidarity Party, Igor Grosu, calls on citizens to go and defend the Constitutional Court.
The General Prosecutor’s Office stated on Monday, April 26, that it received the request to examine the alleged acts of usurpation of the power of the state. The Prosecutor’s Office will examine the case as a priority and will issue a legal decision as soon as possible.
Early parliamentary elections will soon be held in Moldova. After several months of uncertainty, major changes are taking place on the political scene. The Constitutional Court decided on the existence of circumstances that would justify the dissolution of the Parliament. Thus, President Maia Sandu is to dissolve the Parliament and announce the date on which the early parliamentary elections will be held.