“The provisions of the Roadmap for overcoming the crisis of the eventual candidate of the PSRM for Prime Minister, Mariana Durleșteanu, run counter to the provisions of the new political program of the PSRM and the laws adopted by the PSRM-Shor majority in December 2020. That’s why the PSRM’s candidate for Premier should publicly request her backers to renounce the clauses of the political program and to review the laws that obstructed the dialogue with the IMF or the situation described by the candidate will worsen further...”
Three jurists, four opinions…
The Constitutional Court rejected the request to suspend the effect of the decree by which President Maia Sandu nominated again Natalia Gavrilița as Prime Minister. Until the Court pronounces on the constitutionality of this degree, the interested parties and constitutional experts continue to discuss it. The truth is the unconcealed goal of President Maia Sandu is to trigger snap parliamentary elections. This objective goes against the interests of “35-40 MPs who know that they will not enter the next Parliament and will vote in even a “taburetkă” for the post of Premier”. The public polemics focus on three main theses that were stipulated in the Constitutional Court judgment No. 23 of 06.08.2020:
- the discretionary margin of the President when nominating the candidate for Prime Minister is limited.
- if an absolute, formalized parliamentary majority is formed, the President is obliged to designate the candidate for Prime Minister fielded by this majority;
- if an absolute, formalized parliamentary majority is not formed, the President is obliged, after having consultations with the parliamentary groups, to designate a candidate for Prime Minister even if the parliamentary groups do not agree with the proposal of this.
Signing the decree to nominate again Natalia Gavrilița as Prime Minister, President Maia Sandu considered, despite the issuing by the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) of the statement on the formation of a parliamentary majority, that the third thesis from the aforementioned can be applied for now. Leaving aside the opinions of politicians, it is worth presenting the opinions of specialists, primarily of former judges of the Constitutional Court (CC):
- Nicolae Osmochescu - "We do not have a parliamentary majority. What’s happened... is nothing more than a collection of signatures. A parliamentary majority can be created between political forces and groups by signing a document, undertaking particular commitments and responsibilities... She (the President) has the right to propose the same candidate and she did this”;
- Alexandru Tănase – “54 MPs formalized the decision to support a candidate... If there is a created majority, the President cannot ignore it”. However, the expert noted: “The President can reject one time the candidate designated by the majority if she has a series of arguments, starting with suspicions of corruption and ending with national security arguments”;
- Victor Pușcaș - Maia Sandu violated a series of articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and this can result in the suspension of the President from office.
So, three former judges of the CC formulated four opinions about President Maia Sandu’s decree: a) the decree is perfectly constitutional; b) the decree is unconstitutional and runs counter to eight articles of the supreme law; c) the decree is to the limit of constitutionality, if there are arguments to substantiate the suspicions of corruptibility; d) on the repeated insistence of the parliamentary majority, the President will have to issue a new decree to nominate the candidate of this for Prime Minister.
It is a conclusive example showing how you can get lost through three pine trees. It’s no way a reproach to the constitutional experts. In fact, two of the three constitutional experts make us think about the necessity of considering the context, which is the precise circumstances, when we want to determine the troublesome decree’s compliance with the constitutional norm.
Socialists shamed by some and unwanted by others
Surprisingly, the representatives of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), who asked the CC to determine the constitutionality of the troublesome decree, are bothered by the allying with the Shor Party. The PSRM’s conventional propagandist is trying to make a decimation between a parliamentary majority and a government coalition: “There is no coalition in Parliament. There is a situational parliamentary majority that is ready to support Prime Minister Mariana Durleșteanu”. Why is this delimitation necessary? Evidently, because the Shor Party is associated by the leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon with the mafia and bandits. In fact, a situational parliamentary majority existed in December 2020, when the groups of the PSRM and the Shor Party adopted swiftly tens of laws. If they had remained part of the situational majority, the resignation of the Government wouldn’t have been necessary. The question is, why did ex-President Igor Dodon and ex-Prime Minister Ion Chicu cause the governmental crisis? We know the answer – so as to trigger snap parliamentary elections.
The delimiting of the majority from the coalition can have consequences. Actually, the definition of the parliamentary majority is formalized by an organic law – the Parliament’s Regulations (art.4.12): “Parliamentary majority is considered a group or a coalition of groups, announced by a statement, which includes more than half of the elected MPs”. From the definition, we can deduce that parliamentary majority is a coalition of groups. So, the formalization of a majority should be preceded by the existence of a coalition. From this viewpoint, former CC judge Nicolae Osmochescu is formally right when he says that the troublesome decree complies with the constitutional norm.
To get rid of the shame of allying with the Shor Party, the Socialist MPs are looking for all kinds of solutions and explanations that emphasize the confusion prevailing among the Socialists:
- the PSRM and PAS practically agreed the method of triggering snap elections, but President Maia Sandu’s refusal to meet with Igor Dodon to confirm the agreement thwarted the plans. Therefore, out of anger, the PSRM gave up the idea of inducing snap elections after deliberately causing the governmental crisis for this purpose;
- the PSRM is ready to eventually discuss the candidacy of the leader of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPPDA) Andrei Năstase for premiership if the latter confirms that he really wants this post. The last variant seems to be better than the shameful allaying with the Shor Party. The problem is that the PPPDA cannot accept a formal coalition with the PSRM. Therefore, things return to the point that is apparently convenient for President Maia Sandu, who can further insist on Natalia Gavrilița.
So, we can see that there are contextual nuances that are very important, but that, regrettably, are ignored by some of the well-intentioned jurists who yet omit the context. This is also true about ex-deputy minister of justice Nicolae Eșanu, who clearly states his opinion about the troublesome decree: ”... I will recommend those who do not want to be manipulated to resort to logic and common sense. Namely the logic and common sense will enable to find the answer that the “experts” cannot find”... the norms that regulate the procedure for forming the Government were included in the Constitution with the aim of ensuring the formation of the Government... Respectively, all the actions and inactions aimed at achieving the goal stipulated in the Constitution are constitutional, while those that pursue another goal are unconstitutional”. If the given expert skipped over the legal formalism, he would discover that:
- the governmental crisis was deliberately caused by ex-President Igor Dodon (see min. 07.00-15.21) and ex-Prime Minister Ion Chicu namely for the purpose of inducing snap parliamentary elections. If this was the declared goal, isn’t it right to install a stable Government following the path set initially?;
- the constitutional norm provides that the mandate of the Government is valid until the Parliament’s mandate is valid, while the formation of a transitional government, as the PSRM-Shor majority suggests, is an aberration;
- the ensuring of the formation of the Government cannot be an imperative in any conditions. The formation of a Government with the participation of turncoats and depraved politicians, as they are described by the Parliament Declaration of 11.06.2020, who are also the puppets of the mafia and bandits, runs counter to the notion of the rule of law, according to the CC case law ;
- President Maia Sandu’s insistence on dissolving Parliament is in line with the people’s will stated in the consultative referendum of February 24, 2019, which envisions the people’s consent to the dismissal of MPs if these do not appropriately fulfill their duties. It’s true that the citizens plead for personal dismissal of MPs. However, if the turncoats and depraved politicians representing the mafia and bandits are many in number, their dismissal in corpore, by dissolving Parliament is anyway in accordance with the referendum result, which is the people’s will that is the basis of the power in the state.
So, we convince ourselves that the contextual circumstances give to the situation a chromatic scale that is very different from that of the insipid legal formalism. That’s why it is important that the CC should take into account all the arguments when examining the troublesome decree.
Overwhelming assessments of activity of PSRM-Shor majority
Mariana Durleșteanu, the candidate proposed for Prime Minister, made a public call by which she practically disparages the activity of the PSRM-Shor majority. Besides some evident conclusions, Mariana Durleșteanu provides an implicit assessment of the activity of the PSRM-Shor majority of December 2020 and to the inheritance left by the Chicu Government:
state budget is sustainable until June 2021;
- budget deficit will not be of 14 billion lei, but twice higher and the country can experience a financial collapse;
- economic decline is not of 14%, but much higher.
We should thank the candidate for her sincerity. The citizens were assured by the leader of the PSRM that the Chicu Government was one of the most professional ones, while Mariana Durleșeanu shows what gaps were left before the resignation aimed at causing the dissolution of Parliament. We must understand that the unfavorable inheritance left by the Chicu Government was set to place full responsibility on President Maia Sandu. But the most interesting thing revealed by the appeal refers to the elements of the Roadmap of the transitional government for overcoming the crisis:
- revision of the budget so as to secure the funds needed for implementing the vaccination program, for COVID-19 tests and for coverings the costs of the vulnerable sections so that they survive this period;
- maintaining of Moldova’s European course. The candidate probably hasn’t yet read the new political program of the PSRM that was adopted recently and that provides that the strategic course is to the EAST, not to Europe;
- adoption of the Emergency Program with the IMF and foreign partners so as to ensure the reforms and financial support, manage the pandemic and economic crisis. The candidate omits the fact that the program with the IMF was negotiated by the Chicu Government, but the activity of the PSRM-Shor majority seriously affected the relations with the IMF. The truth is the annulment of the billion law is of principle for the PSRM. That’s why the resumption of the program with the IMF is possible only if there is a majority that does not involve the PSRM. But this is actually possible only after the snap parliamentary elections.
The Constitutional Court is to determine the constitutionality of the troublesome decree signed by President Maia Sandu. The way in which the Republic of Moldova can overcome the political crisis caused by the Chicu Movement remains uncertain.
The PSRM insists that it formed only a situational parliamentary majority with the Shor Party, not a government coalition. It happens because the PSRM does not want to be associated with the mafia and bandits, but he paradoxically proposes to the citizens a government supported by the latter.
The provisions of the Roadmap for overcoming the crisis of the eventual candidate of the PSRM for Prime Minister, Mariana Durleșteanu, run counter to the provisions of the new political program of the PSRM and the laws adopted by the PSRM-Shor majority in December 2020. That’s why the PSRM’s candidate for Premier should publicly request her backers to renounce the clauses of the political program and to review the laws that obstructed the dialogue with the IMF or the situation described by the candidate will worsen further.