< Imprimare >      ZIUA - ENGLISH - vineri, 16 martie 2007


Referendum on the Constitutional Court

Most controversial political initiatives have got in the habit of complaining to the Constitutional Court. Almost any initiative regarding terms of power or authority gives birth, one way or the other, to passionate interpretations that prove impossible to reach consensus in the political arena. Sooner or later, the allegedly wronged party addresses the supreme constitutional instance in search of the truth, of the undeniable 'truth'. Until the wise men in the Court reach verdict, we don't know how a country is to be governed properly. The Constitutional Court's decisions have turned into a sort of tables of Moses we are to use to separate the good from the evil.

Now we are looking forward to getting judges to enlighten us on the procedures to be used to dismiss the President, on the constitutionality of the parliamentary committee investigating the suspension of the President, on the legality of the postponement of elections for MEPs in Romania. The Court's interpretations will become rules. Democrat Radu Berceanu was right to claim in 2005, after the high judged had decided that it was illegal to suspend Nastase and Vacaroiu, presidents of the two Chambers, even if the majority had changed: "Only God is above the Constitutional Court, given the latest modifications in the fundamental law."

After the Constitution was revised in 2003, the Constitutional Court was granted great powers, but the lawmakers weren't careful enough to elaborate rules to keep this institution away from political microbes. Much later, after they realized that the MPs no longer debated on the Court's decisions, but they only obeyed them, some became aware of the mistake. 7 of the 9 almighty judges, therefore the majority, had had connections to Iliescu's party. During Ceausescu's era some of them had watched the respect for Communist laws. The same chaps are nowadays watching our progress with democracy. Each and every day they are explaining to us, when requested, a fragment from master Iorgovan's enciphered work.

Sometimes the interpretations of the Court's decisions in relation to the judges' past and their political experience are grounded and some other times they are not. On the grapevine they use phrases like the 'Social-Democrats' Court' and 'Basescu's Court'. Decisions are always suspected of being biased. We will never hear anyone say we have got just and unbiased judges, as long as the political influence prejudice makes sense.

In 2005, the year of constitutional changes, after the cold showers they got because of taking responsibility to promote the property and Justice laws, the officials seemed to realize the need to turn the Constitutional Court into a truly independent institution, including no members with a stained political past. The Liberals and the Democrats promised to modify the law on the Constitutional Court's structure and activity so that judges who had been members of a political party should not become members of the Court. But it was just a promise and the officials chose to continue to accept decisions reached by controversial people, without trying to change anything.

Although the referendum wasn't perceived as universal cure at that time, the president of the Pro Democracy Association came up with an interesting idea: a referendum on the law settling the Constitutional Court's structure. Since the entire political system in Romania has got to depend on the Court just like the Planets spin around the Sun, a referendum on such an issue can't possibly be uninteresting.

The Court has now got a very important exam to pass: at the PM's request, they are to decide on the juridical conflict of constitutional nature between the President and the Government, in the case of the foreign minister's resignation and the appointing of someone else to take over. The verdict to settle the terms between Presidency and Government will make some point to 'Basescu's Court' and some other blame it on 'Tariceanu's Court'.


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