So it begins / Ombudsman challenges in the CCR law banning offenders to lead Romania. “Indignation” for the Presidency: it opens the door for convicts to take decisions

de Mariana Bechir | 8.1.2017 .

victor-ciorbeaSo it begins / Ombudsman challenges in the CCR law banning offenders to lead Romania. “Indignation” for the Presidency: it opens the door for convicts to take decisions

The Ombudsman filed a notice to the CCR, Thursday, on the unconstitutionality of art. 2 of Law 90/2001 that does not allow criminal convicts to hold a minister positions – consequently, it does not allow Liviu Dragnea to be prime minister, neither minister, because of the definitive because of the definitive suspended conviction.

The main reason of the notice: the law would violate the principle of checks and balances of powers in a state.

What the respective article of the law says:

Accession to the Government as a member is open to the persons who have only Romanian citizenship and residence in the country, enjoy the exercise of electoral rights, have no criminal convictions and are not in any of the incompatibility situations stipulated in art. 4 paragraph (1).

Arguments of the notice

  • Lack of legislative consistency, even within the same power of the state – Law for the election of the President (part of the executive power) does not provide for the impossibility to elect a convicted person to this position and for the MPs (legislative power), the mandate is not conditional on this matter unless the court has decided a complementary penalty involving the electoral rights. Firm interdiction exists in the case of magistrates (judicial power)
  • Lack of predictability of the wording ” have no criminal convictions”. It can allow various interpretations
  • Lack of a differential legal treatment – between convicts who committed offenses intentionally and those convicted of negligence, which leads to violating certain civil and political rights. For instance, article 21 section 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that “any person has the right to access, on an equal basis, to the public functions in her country.”
  • Legislation must meet the constitutional principle of checks and balances of powers, and this balance cannot be achieved unless there is a consistent system designed to ensure generally applicable integrity requirements in exercising the functions from these three powers

Presidency’s reaction: It can open the gate to sentenced criminals to lead

Romanian President is outraged by the action of the Ombudsman from this morning, an action having a single beneficiary. Romanian President is surprised by how quickly the Ombudsman is willing to be useful to the new majority,” said Thursday the President’s spokesperson, Madalina Dobrovolschi.

She explained that the efforts of a sentenced person willing to become prime minister are not part of the Ombudsman’s duty.

By this notice in the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman “can open the gate to sentenced criminals to lead,” she also added.

“Nobody, ever, considered that this criterion of morality is a problem for the political life in Romania” and for 16 years “the Ombudsman has not considered that the text of the law is a matter for civil rights and freedoms”, said the spokesperson of the Romanian Presidency.

Dobrovolschi cited article 58 paragraph 1 of the Constitution which clearly states that the role of the Ombudsman is to “defend the rights and freedoms of natural persons,” and explained that “the efforts of a convicted person to become prime minister falls outside the agenda” belonging to Victor Ciorbea.

Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea: 5 notices in 2016

This is the first notice of unconstitutionality filed to the CCR this year by the Ombudsman and, if accepted, would allow Liviu Dragnea to become prime minister.

Dragnea’s intention to take over this position has been expressed within a statement at the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh:

“According to the usages from us and other civilized countries, I had the right to ask the mandate for me, as PSD won the election. At the same time, I took into account two things: President’s statements and a law currently in force. I do not wish to ask for this function, for now.

During the past year, the institution challenged in the Constitutional Court only five provisions:

March – the Ombudsman notified the Constitutional Court on the exception of unconstitutionality related to the Emergency Ordinance 17/2010 for completing Title XI “Agricultural life annuity” of Law no. 247/2005 on the reform of property and justice, on the grounds that an article has been added contrary to the principle of non-retroactivity of the law. The Ombudsman considered that the person is required, on 5 March 2010, to have a certain conduct, even before the emergency ordinance comes into force, which was not provided for by the existing norm at the time, namely to have filed for obtaining the agricultural life annuity by 31 December 2009, inclusive.

May – the Ombudsman filed a notice to the CCR on the emergency ordinance allowing for a referendum to be organised simultaneously with local elections. The notice followed a request from PSD that was willing to block the referendum on the unification of Sinmartin village with Oradea city.

July – Exception of constitutionality relating to the protection zones existing on both sides of the road safety areas. According to the Government Ordinance 43/1997, republished, they remain under the management of the legal persons or individuals who administer or own them. These owners pay tax at the rate of 100% on the land, although they would hardly be able to use it, and even more, they have certain restrictions in this regard, with high obligations imposed on them, as the owners of the land, which may become onerous. This would harm the lawful private interests of the owners.

November – the Ombudsman filed a noticed to the Constitutional Court on some legal provisions regarding the patient’s electronic health record that do not guarantee enough protection of the right to intimate, family and private life. The Ombudsman considered that the access and use of data from the electronic health record of the patient must be done under maximum security conditions, to preclude dissemination (even accidental) of any personal data that could prejudice a person in any way.

December – the objection of unconstitutionality on a provision of the Tax Code requiring a person who no longer owns a good to pay tax on construction, land or means of transport. This respective provision forces the person who was the owner of that good at 31 December, in the preceding fiscal year, to pay this tax, which the Ombudsman considered to be inadequate and disproportionate to the aim set, as it affects the personal property of the taxpayers.

Important unconstitutional laws that Victor Ciorbea refused to challenge

In 2014, Ciorbea stubbornly refused to challenge the famous Ordinance 55, called the ordinance of migration, which temporarily suspended the sanction on the local elected officials joining a different party than the one with which they had submitted their candidacies and got elected to their position. PSD wanted to recover this way the mayors lost following the dissolution of USL.

The opposition parties, President Traian Basescu and NGOs asked him to challenge the ordinance in the CCR and the US Embassy also showed concern about the timing of issuing such a law (it was before the presidential elections).

NGOs and the opposition even picketed against the institution, but Victor Ciorbea answered to the protests by claiming that the action “particularly refers to the relationship between the public authorities, aspects of the functioning of the constitutional democracy involving an especially political analysis and approach”, which would ask for the institution “to go beyond its position of neutrality and objectivity and involve in partisan controversies.

The emergency ordinance has been declared unconstitutional, but following a notice from PNL. In the short period of its applicability, hundreds of liberal and PDL mayors have transferred to PSD.

Also in 2014, Victor Ciorbea denied the appeal from the civil society, a part of media and the President, to challenge the changes made by the former Minister Sorin Campeanu on the Education Law.

Among the provisions of this ordinance, there were several references to PhDs. For instance, the emergency ordinance included an article providing for the possibility of giving up the title, which would have allowed plagiarists to go without the penalty for the intellectual fraud they committed.

Right after the publication of the ordinance, Victor Ponta sent a statement to the Ministry of Education announcing that he gives up his title. The request remained unanswered as the rules for the application of the ordinance have not been drafted anymore.

A PNL member, Victor Ciorbea was nominated by PSD for the Ombudsman position

Victor Ciorbea was voted for the Ombudsman position in 2014, following the nomination made by PSD, although he was a PNL member at the time.

The liberals did not agree with the nomination and left the plenary hall when the vote took place.

A former union leader in the early 90s, Ciorbea joined politics at the time of the Democratic Convention’s establishment.

He was the mayor of the capital city and prime minister (between 12 December 1996 and 30 March 1998).

In 2011, he was elected chairman of PNTCD, but transferred to PNL following the internal scandals from this party and obtained a parliamentary term in the Senate on the PNL lists, in 2012.

Publicat la data de 8.1.2017 .

Lasa un comentariu


SIMILAR ARTICLES

Marin Pana

A grim picture: list of things we DO NOT know we can produce. What Romania imports from EU and from what countries. It is not too clear (or is it?) and why

Trade exchanges with the EU countries amounted last year to about EUR 43 billion in exports (75% of total exports) and almost EUR 52 billion in imports (77% of total imports) In terms of non-EU trade, exports amounted to EUR 143 billion (25% of total exports) and imports to EUR 154 billion (23% of total imports) Structure of foreign trade in 2016 (million euro) Export ...
Read more »

Mariana Bechir

Unitary pay law widens gap between salaries in public and private sectors. Risks

Increasing discrepancies between the wages in the public and private sectors will broaden inequalities between the two sectors and have serious effects on the labour market and the real economy, warn business community and trade unions leaders and human resources experts A forgotten lesson The unitary pay law, in the form presented by Liviu Dragnea, will broaden the salary gaps that have ...
Read more »

Mariana Bechir

Accelerated depopulation: Romania’s population has decreased by 74,050 people over last 12 months. Most prominent depopulation – in Teleorman

Romania’s population declined between March 2016 - February 2017 by 74,050 people The number is comparable to the population of a middle-sized city, a capital of a county like Alba Iulia, for instance (74,085 inhabitants) Romania's annual natural growth went, for the first time, below the threshold of -70,000 people: in the 12 months between the beginning of March last year and the end of ...
Read more »

Adrian N Ionescu

A paradox: Hunger of stockholder state to push Romania at top of world dividend yields ranking in 2017 as well

The dividends proposed to stockholders by the management of the companies listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) are very likely to place Romania also this year at the top of the world ranking of the yields of investments made for this purpose Bucharest's capital market ranked first last year among the world's highest average yields, according to a report by the German investment bank ...
Read more »

Dordia Tereza

Trade deficit, consolidated by negligence, reached EUR 1.3 billion. After only two months of 2017

  The trade deficit in the first two months of 2017 was EUR 1259 million, 27% higher than the same period of the previous year, according to the INS data The exports increased at a good pace (+ 92%, to EUR 9,7499 million), but have been outweighed by the imports that advanced by 109%, to 11,0089 million The import coverage ratio by exports still maintained a reasonable level (924%, ...
Read more »


NEWS

Romania to buy Patriot missiles - it will be the 13th country in the world that owns this defence system

The Chief of the Military Staff, General Nicolae Ciuca (photo), announced in a press conference on Thursday that Romania intends to buy American missiles Patriot, ... Read more

IMF has improved forecast for Romanian economy growth in 2017 and 2018: but far below Government’s calculations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its estimates for the Romanian economy growth to 4.2% from 3.8% – previous estimate for this year, and ... Read more

BNR: Current account on surplus, but external debt increased in first two months of 2017

The balance-of-payments current account posted a surplus of EUR 204 million in the first two months of the year, compared to a deficit of EUR ... Read more

Finance Minister Viorel Stefan: Households to be recognized from tax perspective; their members will be able to jointly pay global tax

The Finance Minister Viorel Stefan announced on Wednesday that the future Tax Code will provide the option for a global tax payment on household income, ... Read more

Essential: Government adopted strategy for decentralization. Timetable and sectors

The Government approved on Wednesday the general strategy of decentralization, comprising the responsibilities that could be transferred to the local authorities and describing the way ... Read more

Chamber of Deputies members offer CCR judges super immunity, higher pensions and diplomatic passports

The Chamber of Deputies passed Tuesday by 178 votes “for”, 39 “against” and 51 abstentions, the bill that provides increased immunity to CCR judges. They ... Read more

Six R&D centres to be established in agriculture. They will receive subsidies

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) launched for public debate six draft government decision for establishing or reorganizing six R&D centres specialised in ... Read more

Enel Group paid Romania EUR 401 million imposed by Court of Arbitration in Paris

Enel Group paid Romanian state EUR 401 million, according to the decision of the International Court of Arbitration in Paris announced in February, according to ... Read more

Ionut Dumitru: Half of budget revenues to be spent on public sector wages in 2022. That is unsustainable

The state expenses on public sector wages will reach 12% of GDP in 2022, which means half of the revenues collected to the state budget, ... Read more

Average national wage fell below 500 euros in February. Unique case in EU: manufacturing sector, 12% below national average

The gross average national wage announced by INS for February 2017 was 3,108 lei, by 1.9% below the previous month. The net average national wage ... Read more

Court of Accounts/ 80% of procurement frauds occur in local government. Solution - establishment of Centralized Procurement Unit

The Court of Accounts verified last year nearly 2,700 public entities and identified 23,500 violations that caused a total damage of EUR 400 million. Of ... Read more

Completed draft laws: Changes in criminal codes - no minimum threshold for abuse of office. Law for integrating European Directive on extended confiscation

The draft law for amending the criminal codes will not include any minimum value threshold for the crime of abuse of office, and another draft ... Read more

"Worst of both worlds": Court of Arbitration in Paris decides that CNAIR should pay compensation to contractor of "sunken highway"

Photo: Narcis Neaga, appointed adviser to the current government, starred in the “Sunken highway” play The National Company of Road Infrastructure Administration (CNAIR) will bring ... Read more

Unusual letter: Major US corporations present in Romania ask Prime Minister Grindeanu to not deviate from rule of law

Representatives of several American companies handed over to Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, Wednesday, a “roadmap” containing provisions on the rule of law, transparency and efficiency, “that ... Read more

To the last drop: Government is also collecting dividends from what state companies earned in previous years

The Government has found a new source to finance the budget deficit, wages and maybe public investment. The profit obtained by the state companies and ... Read more

Budget implementation after two months: Ministry of Finance reports a surplus - what is behind it

The Ministry of Finance announced that, according to the current working data, the implementation of the general consolidated budget in the first two months of ... Read more

Debts of companies to suppliers in Romania maintain above 56 billion lei. Wholly Romanian-owned companies are most indebted

The outstanding payments of the companies to suppliers in Romania amounted to about 56 billion lei in 2016, compared to 56.5 billion lei in 2015 ... Read more

Romania competes for relocating European Medicines Agency to Bucharest. Argument: 14,000 Romanian doctors and pharmacists working in the EU

The Government approved on Wednesday a memorandum for Romania to apply for the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Bucharest, in the Brexit ... Read more

Three proposals from PIAROM for a real reform of technical and vocational education system

The Romanian Local Investors Employers – PIAROM calls on the authorities to quickly adopt concrete supportive measures for involving the private capital in the technical ... Read more

IMF mission concluded consultations in Bucharest – Government’s options

The IMF mission concluded Thursday a 7-day visit in Romania in the annual process of consultation under Article 4, after a small delegation came to ... Read more

Romanian leu depreciated to reach 4.5654 lei/euro, record level of last four and a half years

The reference exchange rate announced Friday by BNR was 4.5654 lei/euro, 0.3% more than the level reached in the previous session and a maximum level ... Read more

Liviu Voinea (BNR): 7,000 notifications on debt to equity swap, by February; loans amounting to 2 billion lei

The number of notifications registered under the Law on debt to equity swap reached to 7,000 at the end of February, representing total loans amounting ... Read more

Siegfried Muresan: Romania should make joining Schengen a condition to accept two-speed Europe

Member of the European Parliament Siegfried Muresan (photo) said in Strasbourg that the idea of a multispeed Europe is not wrong altogether, and Romania should ... Read more

Valentin Lazea: Absorption of EU funds could lead to a 4.5% increase of potential GDP

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told the officials of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) that a 95% absorption of the European funds would lead ... Read more