Igor Boțan: Snap elections will be probably held after state of emergency

The Constitutional Court’s arguments in favor of the dissolution of Parliament are sufficient. As a new element in its case law, the CC said that unlike the previous practice, it examined paragraph 1 of Article 85 of the Constitution together with paragraph 2 of the same article. On the one hand, this refers to the period of 90 days that is needed for voting in a plenipotentiary government. On the other hand, it referred to the period of 45 days needed for making at least two attempts to invest the new government. The CC also makes reference to its October 1, 2013 decision providing that the Government of the Republic of Moldova cannot be acting forever. At the same time, the essence of the conflict between the presidential administration and Parliament is absolutely political in character, the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in the public debate “Constitutional Court’s judgment: what happened and what will happen in Moldova?” that was staged by IPN.

According to Boțan, the governmental crisis appeared as a result of the wish of all the political forces to dissolve Parliament and organize snap elections. “Igor Dodon said it clearly: the Chicu Government will resign in order to pave the way for snap elections. Maia Sandu earlier also pleaded for snap elections, arguing that the legislature in the summer of 2020 adopted a decision by which it condemned the current composition of Parliament for corruption and party switching. And the political struggle based on poll results started then. The PSRM said it changed its mind about the snap elections, as the Socialists didn’t like what rating they had according to sociological polls and formed a parliamentary majority with those whom they earlier called mafia and bandits. A conflict is perpetuated here. The CC sees it, but does not want to assess it from political viewpoint as this is not its duty,” said the expert.

He noted the created situation revealed significant shortcomings in the legislative framework of the Republic of Moldova. “The MPs who adopt and amend the Constitution never voted in favor of the regime of government we have now in the Republic of Moldova. In 1994, a semi-presidential system was promoted, while in 2000 a parliamentary system was promoted so that the President was elected by Parliament. In 2016, it was decided that the President will be elected directly by the citizens. The CC says that in this case we have a presidential or semi-presidential system of government if the President is elected by the people. Bbut the President’s powers are limited and they insist on the existence of a parliamentary regime,” said Igor Boțan, noting a political conflict between Parliament and the presidential administration appeared as a result.

He also said that after the April 15 decision of the CC, the people expect Maia Sandu to sign the decree on the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of snap elections. The elections will most probably be held after the state of emergency is lifted, which is after May 31. The state of emergency was declared in order to hamper the holding of snap elections.

The public debate “Constitutional Court’s judgment: what happened and what will happen in Moldova?” is the 183rd installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by Germany’s Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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