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BREAKING: The Judges of the Moldovan Constitutional Court have resigned

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Between 7th and 9th of June, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the election of the Moldovan Parliament’s leadership and the vote of the new Government, and later instituted the interim presidential post, after having previously decided that the deadline for voting a new government was June 7, 2019, not June 9, as previously, publicly mentioned.

The decisions coincided with the position of the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM), which declared the votes in the Parliament as unlawful (votes through which the speaker was elected and the Sandu Government was established), and therefore called for the early elections. However, the “synchronization” between DPM and the CC is not a coincidence. Out of the six judges of the High Court, three of them were former DPM deputies, and two of them were included in the CC in a short time before the parliamentary elections in February. CC decisions have raised more criticism and have been questioned by several experts and officials, including international officials.

Judges of the Constitutional Court have resigned in their bodies. The announcement was made public through a press release published on the Constitutional Court website. Resignation of constitutional judges comes after more than two weeks, experts, politicians, non-governmental organizations and members of civil society, have criticized the latest decisions taken by the Constitutional Court, demanding the resignation of constitutional judges.

Reminder: On June 14, DPM announced that it was withdrawing from the government, and on the second day, Saturday, June 15, the CC decided to revise and cancel the decisions taken between June 7-9, which were favorable to Plahotniuc’s party. Eventually, on 20 June, the President of the Constitutional Court, Mihai Poalelungi, resigned.

Politics

The message of European and American officials for Moldova’s coalition government

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The representatives of the EU delegation in Moldova, the Embassy of Romania, UK, USA and of Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs have sent messages to the running coalition government of the Republic of Moldova in the context of latest developments related to the justice reform in the country. 

Both Prime Minister Maia Sandu and President Igor Dodon met with heads of diplomatic missions of different countries last week and discussed the crisis political situation created between the political bloc ACUM and the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), which form the coalition government. At the same time, several diplomatic missions and state officials from all over the Europe and USA posted messages on social media, emphasising the need to establish a middle ground and overcome the tense political crisis.

The US Embassy in Moldova had the following message for Moldova’s coalition government:

“The United States supports the efforts of Prime Minister Sandu, President Dodon, and the governing coalition to overcome the current political impasse. Reforms critical to the Republic of Moldova’s democratic development have already been delayed for too long. As a friend of Moldova, we urge the country’s political leaders to quickly reach consensus on a solution that will preserve the path toward justice reform and allow the government to work to improve the lives of all Moldovans.”

The message of the Embassy of Romania in the Republic of Moldova:

“Romania supports the efforts of Prime Minister Maia Sandu and the ruling coalition to overcome the current political deadlock. The reforms are critical to the democratic development of the Republic of Moldova and the maintenance of its European path. As a strategic partner, Romania calls for political responsibility, underlining the need for the political leaders of the Republic of Moldova to quickly identify consensus on a solution that will ensure stability, keep the path to justice reform and allow the Government to improve the lives of all citizens.”

The British Embassy in the Republic of Moldova addressed to the political leaders of Moldova as following:

“As a friend of Moldova with a demonstrable and long-standing record of support for the reform process, the United Kingdom urges the country’s political leaders to reach consensus on a solution which preserves the path towards justice reform and allows the coalition government to continue to work for the benefit of all citizens of the Republic of Moldova. In June 2019, the United Kingdom welcomed the creation of the governing coalition which set a clear agenda of reforms critical to Moldova’s democratic development, including in the important area of judicial reform.”

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland Marcin Przydacz also called on reaching a consensus regarding the justice reform in Moldova.

 “Reforms in Moldova must continue. There is a need for consensus on important justice reforms by all stakeholders. We offer full support to these efforts.”

As you can see, consensus is the key word used in all messages addressed to the still existing coalition government.

On Friday, November 8th, PSRM brought a motion of censure in the Parliament against the current Government (ruled by ACUM) after the latter assumed responsibility for amending the Law on Prosecutor’s Office.

Prime Minister Maia Sandu stated that the Government will not withdraw its initiative on assuming responsibility for amending the Law on Prosecutor’s Office, as requested previously by the President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon.

Photo: gov.md

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Politics

PSRM brought a motion of censure in the Parliament criticising the Government. What’s next?

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Just a few hours ago, the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) brought a motion of censure in the Parliament criticising the Government handling of the justice reform, namely the amendments to the Law on Prosecutor’s Office presented to legislature by the political bloc ACUM. 

The discussions in the Parliament

The socialists declared that the amendments proposed by ACUM endangers the independence of the prosecutor’s office and the independence of the justice.

“Maia Sandu ignored all good practices regarding the appointment of an independent prosecutor, ignored the constitution of the country and the opinion of the Venice Commission, preferring not to wait,” said the PSRM member Vasile Bolea.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Maia Sandu gave a speech in front of Members of the Parliament (MPs), in which she argued the position of ACUM regarding the amendment to the Law on Prosecutor’s Office, stating that this is the best solution for selecting an independent prosecutor general.

“We made some compromises. We did it to achieve the main objective – an independent prosecutor’s office, a fair justice. The fight for the prosecutor general is the red line.[…] Moldova has gone through several justice reforms. […] And yet the good intentions did not produce a result, being neutralised by hidden political interests. […] I decided to proceed differently. I assume the political responsibility for the process of identifying candidates for the position of prosecutor general. I will personally identify and verify honest, brave and well-intended people and propose them to the Superior Council of Prosecutors.

In this respect, I am encouraged by the position of the Venice Commission, expressed in other similar situations, according to which the selection of the prosecutor general must be done in such a way as to obtain the public’s confidence, and the selection of the prosecutor general with the involvement of the executive and legislative powers would offer more democratic legitimacy of this procedure.

Therefore, according to the Venice Commission, it is reasonable for a government to want to participate in the selection process of the prosecutor general on the grounds that the fight against corruption is crucial for the proper functioning of the state institutions,” stated Maia Sandu.

After that, the secretary of the PSRM faction, Vasile Bolea, submitted a censure of motion in the Parliament, expressing the withdrawal of the confidence granted to the Sandu Government.

The President’s declarations

President Igor Dodon still hopes that ACUM will withdraw the initiative, by which the Executive has assumed responsibility for amendments to the Law on the Prosecutor’s Office.

“There is still a few days for the unconstitutional initiative to be withdrawn. There is still room for reflections and understanding by ACUM that the prosecutor general cannot be politically subordinated, and the coalition should not be sacrificed on the altar of personal ambitions,” Igor Dodon wrote on Facebook after the Socialist faction submitted the motion of censure against the Government in the Parliament.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the prosecutor general is appointed by the President of the Republic of Moldova, at the proposal of the Superior Council of Prosecutors (SCP), for a term of 7 years, which cannot be renewed.

The amendments proposed by ACUM include selection by the prime minister, according to the approved procedure, of at least two candidates for the position of prosecutor general and submission of the list to the SCP. Next, the SCP would select one candidate from the list and would propose him/her to the president.

What’s next?

The Permanent Bureau of the Parliament will meet within the next three working days to decide when the next plenary session will be held, at which the motion of censure will be examined.

As following, the motion of censure will be debated and voted. The motion of censure is considered adopted with the vote of the majority of MPs (51). Thus, given that PSRM has 36 MPs, it must be voted by other factions as well. There is a great probability that the motion will be voted by the Democratic Party MPs and/or by Șor Party MPs.

In case the motion of censure is adopted,  the prime minister will submit to the President the resignation of the Government within a maximum of 3 days. If the motion of censure on the activity of the Government is rejected, the deputies who signed it will not be able to initiate, at the same session, a new motion for the same reason.

Protest in front of the Parliament

People have united in a protest to support the Sandu Government in front of the Parliament. They gathered and demanded a fair justice. The protesters came up with placards where it was written: “I support the Sandu Government”, “Checkmate – assumed prosecutor” “Independent prosecutor supported by the Parliament” and “It’s a must to have a fair prosecutor”.

source: TV8

source: TV8

Photo: privesc.eu

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Culture

LEGATHON: Hack Corruption. Law to the People – an event for young people passionate about IT

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The “LEGATHON: Hack Corruption. Law to the People” is an event which is organised for the first time in Moldova, being designed to gather 30 young professionals and enthusiasts passionate about programming languages, databases, UX and web design.

Guided by information technology specialists and anti-corruption experts and working in six teams by five persons, the participants will develop applications for the National Anticorruption Centre’s (NAC), which would be easily accessible to the general public and would allow reporting the laws or normative acts containing ambiguous provisions which may generate corruption cases, as well as build a friendly environment for people who have difficulties in interpreting the legislation, according to the NAC official page. The best application proposal will be actually used for the NAC platform and will be awarded.

LEGATHON will take place on November 8-10 at Digital Park in Chișinău.

The event is organised within the framework of the “Curbing Corruption by Building Sustainable Integrity in the Republic of Moldova” Project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with the National Anticorruption Centre, with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

See more details on the event’s Facebook page.

Photo: md.undp.org

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