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Bill to amend Constitution consulted publicly in Parliament

The draft law to amend the Constitution following the referendum that is to be held simultaneously with this year’s presidential elections was subject to the first public consultations that were staged by the Parliament’s Commission for Appointments and Immunities. Following the consultations, the draft law will be finalized, the Constitutional Court will be asked to state its opinion and then the draft decision will be registered to agree the date and content of the referendum questions, IPN reports.

“In the Republic of Moldova, even if this instrument called constitutional referendum is regulated, unfortunately, until now it has never been used to produce legal effects. We, the members of the Legal Commission for Appointments and Immunities, and also as MPs, are responsible and aware of all the steps that follow. As a result of today’s consultations, we will finalize this bill. Then, the Constitutional Court will be asked to pronounce on it and we will then register the draft decision to establish both the date and the actual content of the questions,” said the Commission’s chairwoman Veronica Roșca.

The head of the Central Election Commission Angelica Caraman said that this subject falls within the competence of the legislature. In 2019, it was a similar experience and both the snap parliamentary elections and the referendum were validated by the Constitutional Court. “In the current version of the Election Code, it is noted that the referendum can be organized simultaneously with the presidential and parliamentary elections. We reiterate that this bill refers to political expediency,” stated the CEC head.

Mihai Corj, leader of the association “Lex Scripta”, believes that the draft law must include not only the phrase “declaring the integration into the European Union”. In his opinion, two elements must be stipulated in the bill, namely “accession to and integration into the European Union”.

“I hope very much that through this constitutional referendum, the Republic of Moldova will restore the prestige and increased confidence in this democratic procedure – the referendum – which has suffered greatly due to all kinds of political games over the years. And I hope that from now on, there will be a new beginning for this extremely important procedure, where the citizens can directly take part in making the most important decisions,” said Valeriu Pasha, head of WatchDog.MD community.

“We need to see to what extent we can reflect this strategic objective in such a way that it involves continuous action. It was noted that there is the EU accession and the European integration, which is an ongoing process. If our understanding is that the European integration is the strategic objective, this means not only accession, but a continuous process at the level of states that are already members,” said Iulian Groza, director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms.

Igor Boțan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT), said that this bill is welcome. As regards the words “accession” and “integration”, he said that “’integration” must be stipulated because accession to the European Union is only an act, while integration is continuous. “We must not forget that after Moldova eventually becomes a member state, the integration will continue. At first, we will be part of the Customs Union within the EU. Afterward, we will eventually join the Schengen Area, the Monetary Union, etc.”, stated Igor Botan.

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