Powers of Deputy Speaker unclear after Lupu’s dismissal

The MPs and law experts have different opinions as to the powers of the Deputy Speaker following the removal of the Democratic leader Marin Lupu from office. The Lib-Dems said that their party colleague Liliana Palihovici can lead the legislature after Lupu’s dismissal. The Communists and a part of the unaffiliated MPs have the same opinion. But the Democratic MPs and the Liberal lawmakers who support Mihai Ghimpu said that after Marian Lupu’s dismissal the work of Parliament was blocked and the sittings are illegal, IPN reports.

After the vote on the Speaker’s removal was held, Democratic MP Adrian Candu said that the Parliament’s work was blocked immediately after the dismissal of Marian Lupu, while Liberal lawmaker Valeriu Munteanu said a new Speaker should be elected the same day as there appear suspicions that the country is pushed towards early elections.

The leader of the Liberal Party Mihai Ghimpu said it is illegal to continue the sitting after the dismissal of the Head of Parliament. According to him, the person who will chair the sittings will usurp the power. Ghimpu announced that he will ask the Constitutional Court to pronounce on the decision to discharge the Speaker.

Liliana Palihovici replied that under the Parliament’s Regulations, the Deputy Speaker has the right to open and close the sittings of Parliament. Thus, it is perfectly legal to continue the meeting after the dismissal of Marian Lupu.

The former Speaker told the journalists that under the legislation, the Deputy Speaker can fulfill the duties of the Speaker in case of transfer of powers. “I signed no decision in this respect and transferred no power. Thus, the Deputy Speaker cannot call and chair sittings and cannot sign documents,” he stated.

Ex-deputy minister of justice Gheorghe Susarenco, former judge at the Constitutional Court, has told IPN that from his viewpoint, the Deputy Speaker must have the same powers as the Speaker in his absence. According to him, only the Constitutional Court can shed light on this issue. There is no definite term during which the legislative body can work without an elected Speaker.

Lawyer Vitalie Nagacevschi, expert in constitutional law, said that the dissenting opinions about the powers of the Deputy Speaker when the Speaker is dismissed are due to the shortcomings of the legislation.

Constitutional expert Alexandru Arsene considers that the legislature is functional and Deputy Speaker Liliana Palihovici has all the powers of the Speaker. The parliamentary factions will soon hold meetings to choose a candidate for the post of Head of Parliament.

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