Democracy Is a Value That Must Be Protected Every Day
- On July 29, our Constitution marked the coming of age. How "mature" is the Supreme Law of the Republic of Moldova, if we consider that many politicians have said that it should be amended?
Social relations are constantly developing and evolving. The Constitution must always be up-to-date and correspond to the social relations and realities. Therefore, all the constitutions of the world are regularly amended, revised, or new constitutions are adopted to bring them in line with the social relations they should govern.
Moldova is not an exception in this respect. Our Constitution was adopted at a time when we were making the first steps towards state-building, without having much experience in this regard. Therefore, we should not wonder that some mechanisms of the current Constitution do not work as they should work.
The Constitution may be revised only with the observance of the limits of constitutional review. The provisions concerning the sovereignty, independence and unity of the state and those regarding the permanent neutrality of the State may be revised only by approval through a referendum, by the vote of a majority of citizens. It is important to mention that no revision can be made, if it results in suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens or their guarantees.
- What does Constitution mean for the people? What does Constitution mean for Moldovans?
- The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two key documents for our country. The Moldovan state was built on the principles expressed in its Declaration of Independence and fully reflected in the text of the current Constitution. As supreme values, the constitution enshrines: the unitary and indivisible state, the rule of law, justice and political pluralism, democracy, respect for human dignity, rights and freedoms.
The Constitution is our country's existential philosophy, from which we can not deviate. The fundamental mission of the Constitution is securing democracy and social harmony, which is impossible without ensuring the rule of law and unconditional respect for the constitutional rights.
- Since the Alliance for European Integration came to power, the opposition has accused the Alliance of violation of constitutional rules in almost all its speeches...
- The political discourse is not always based on facts or arguments. Worldwide, the arsenal of political competition includes speculations and manipulations, and even more in the power-opposition relations. In this respect, Moldova is no exception. Therefore, the political discourse should be left in the political and treated as such. If the citizen is the sole judge of political actors, the Constitutional Court is the sole authority entitled to establish the breach of the constitutional rules.
- But are there any grounds for the accusations? Have our authorities shown disrespect for the supreme law?
- The Constitutional Court was categorical every time it found a violation of constitutional rules. During the recent years, we declared unconstitutional several important laws adopted by the Government and Parliament. In most cases, when the Constitutional Court ruled that the Constitution had been violated, there was no question of lack of respect for the supreme law. I think it would be more appropriate to speak of an inaccurate understanding of certain constitutional provisions. Clearly, the lack of respect for the Constitution is shown primarily by politicians who undermine the authority of the Constitutional Court, attacking inadmissibly the institution whenever it rules a judgment which is politically unsuitable for them.
- Going back to constitutional changes, how do you think such amendments should be prepared? By politically independent national experts or who should we engage international experts for that purpose?
- We are not a banana country and we do not need anyone to write our own Constitution. We have enough lawyers here in Moldova, which could help policymakers develop the text of potential amendments. Any proposal to amend the Constitution shall be submitted to the Council of Europe for expertise, to see if it does not contravene the principles of a democratic state. The problem is not the incapacity of lawyers to develop draft constitutional laws, but the incapacity of the politicians to agree on the fundamental issues regulated by the Constitution. When this political compromise is reached, the revision of the text will be a technical issue.
- Would you like to send a message to citizens on the occasion of the Constitution Day?
- Democracy is a value that should be protected every day. Therefore, I urge all citizens of our country to help build a society governed by justice and truth, and honor the Constitution!
Mariana Galben, Info-Prim Neo