Arcadie Barbăroșie: We must speak about President’s duties, not about election method

We should first of all speak about the duties of the President of the Republic of Moldova and should leave aside the method of electing the President. Society can demand that the President should be elected by Parliament, by a simple majority of 51 votes. But more sophisticated methods can also be devised, such as the involvement of district heads, councilors from the opposition and others in the process of electing the President, director of the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) Arcadie Barbăroșie stated in IPN’s public debate titled “Presidency, President and presidential elections: processes, tendencies and effects”.
The IPP director noted that in 1994, when it was decided that we have a semi-presidential republic, with important duties of the President, no broad discussion was held and society wasn’t consulted. That Constitution was written, discussed in Parliament, but it wasn’t put up for a referendum, as the Constitution stipulates. Society should have been consulted through a referendum.

“The Constitution was adopted by Parliament without any discussions in society. I wonder if society would have approved or disapproved of that Constitution. I don’t know a response to this question as that referendum wasn’t held. And I also wander if the Constitutional Court has enough courage to say that the current Constitution is not valid? Or it would say that almost 30 years passed and the Constitution, as it has worked for 26 years without serious problems, it is valid, but through the way in which it worked,” stated Arcadie Barbăroșie.

According to him, when they returned to the presidential institution reform in 2000 and legislative changes were made, the Constitutional Court wasn’t asked. But then, in 2000, the method of electing the President was changed from direct election, by the people, to election by Parliament. There were also modified powers of the President. But the Constitutional Court wasn’t consulted then, as the law provided.

“After this, the Constitutional Court definitely had the right to modify in 2016 that decision of 2000. But I wonder why it modified it that way? In order not to allow a particular person to run for President? Possibly. I don’t have an answer to this question. Secondly, why was it partially modified? Why wasn’t it fully modified so that we returned to the model used before 2000?”, asked Arcadie Barbăroșie.

He also said that for four years already, things have develop according to the same model and its main shortcomings were seen. We should first of all discuss the duties of the President of the Republic of Moldova and should leave aside the method of electing the President.

The public debate “Presidency, President and presidential elections: processes, tendencies and effects” was the 152nd installment of the series “Developing political culture through political debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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