Election of the Vice-presidents of Parliament – constitutional
On 4 February 2014 the Constitutional Court delivered its judgment on the constitutionality of the Parliament Decisions No. 126 and No. 127 of 30 May 2013 on the election of Vice-Presidents of Parliament (Complaint No. 31a/2013).
Circumstances of the case
At the origin of the case lies the application submitted to the Constitutional Court on 10 July 2013 by the MP’s Grigore Petrenco, Artur Reşetnicov and Igor Vremea.
The authors of the application alleged that the provisions of the Parliament Decisions No. 126 and No. 127 of 30 May 2013, whereby Messrs Andrian Candu and Oleg Bodrug were elected as Vice-Presidents of the Parliament, are contrary to Article 64 para. (3) of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court ruled on the application in the following composition:
Mr Alexandru TĂNASE, President,
Mr Aurel BĂIEŞU,
Mr Igor DOLEA,
Mr Tudor PANŢÎRU,
Mr Victor POPA, judges
Conclusions of the Court
Examining the reasoning of the parties, the Constitutional Court held that, under the constitutional norm, the Vice-presidents of Parliament are elected upon the proposal of the President of Parliament upon consultations with parliamentary fractions (art. 64 para. (3)).
The Court noted that the consultation is not equal to the approval. The refusal of the fractions to support some candidates can not cancel the Decision of the President of Parliament to propose these candidates for the office of Vice-president of Parliament. Similarly, omitting to consult a fraction does not invalidate or annul the sovereign right of the Parliament to decide on the candidates proposed for the offices of Vice-presidents.
The Court held that the constitutional right of the President to propose candidates for the office of Vice-president results from the regulatory provisions, which states that “Vice-presidents of the Parliament are performing, within the limits and manner established by the President, the duties of the President”. In other words, the powers and role of each Vice-president derives from the competences of the President, delegated by him/her, in order to be assisted in the effective performance of his/her office.
In order to accomplish his/her constitutional right to propose the Vice-presidents, the President of the Parliament, although elected by the parliamentary majority, must ensure, by consulting the parliamentary fractions, the support both of the parliamentary majority and the eventual constructive cooperation of the minority which is in opposition.
Although failure to prior consult one parliamentary fraction represents an omission in the process of electing the Vice-presidents, this fact does not affect the essence of the right of the fraction to express its attitude towards the candidates proposed by the President of the Parliament, by a negative vote in the Plenary Session.
Therefore, from the constitutional provision of Article 64 para. (3) of the Constitution it clearly results that the will of the President of Parliament in the process of selecting and proposing the Vice-presidents of the Parliament prevails over the advisory opinions of the parliamentary fractions.
Based on all the circumstances of the case submitted to the court of constitutional jurisdiction, the Court has not found elements of unconstitutionality in the process of adopting the challenged decisions.
Judgment of the Court
Starting from the reasoning invoked above, the Constitutional Court rejected as unfounded the application of the MP’s Grigore Petrenco, Artur Reşetnicov, Igor Vremea and recognized as constitutional the Parliament Decisions No. 126 and No. 127 of 30 May 2013 on the election of Vice-Presidents of Parliament.
The Judgment of the Constitutional Court is final, cannot be appealed, shall enter into force on the date of passing, and shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova.