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Opposition asks Ombudsman to challenge ordinance on administrative code

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Florina Presadă

Opposition Save Romania Union (USR) Senator Florina Presada on Thursday filed a petition with the Ombudsman to challenge government's emergency ordinance on the Administrative Code with the Constitutional Court (CCR).

She said that the unconstitutionality issues raised by USR in this request are numerous.

"The strongest argument is that there is no urgency to justify this emergency ordinance for the adoption of the Administrative Code. We have a rich jurisprudence in the field, constitutional jurisprudence. The court has said many times that in the absence of an extraordinary situation that does not sustain the postponement of a government regulation, an emergency ordinance is not justified at all. We have the argument that areas such as administrative law, criminal or judicial law cannot be modified under emergency ordinance, because there are areas where changes are ample and must happen after public consultations with the stakeholders," Presada said at the Ombudsman's office

She added that other constitutionality objections refer to the substance of the provisions included in the Administrative Code.

"There are provisions that we have identified as unconstitutional, because CCR has already ruled on quasi-identical regulations in the past and has declared them unconstitutional. I want to mention here that old-age allowance, special pensions for mayors, deputy mayors, county council chairs and deputies were included in bills passed by Parliament that CCR declared unconstitutional, saying that a principle of legality enshrined in the Constitution is breached. This type of pension is a privilege and not a right," said Presada.

She also mentioned in the context of a recent recommendation by the Venice Commission that Romania should abandon legislating by emergency ordinances.

"So it is already a practice of the Romanian Government that has to stop, and I am convinced that the Ombudsman, who has to take this decision now - whether or not to notify CCR - is aware of all these arguments, including the lack of urgency (...) The decision will tell us whether or not Mrs Renate Weber is a lawyer of the people who follows the agenda of the majority who voted for her and in the light of these powers decides to exercise the power to notify CCR about constitutionality objections. It will be a decision that will show us what kind of people's lawyer Mrs Weber wants to be... (...) It is necessary that someone at this moment restore the balance of power between government and Parliament. Mrs Renate Weber had several statements in the past arguing that any government should give up this practice," said Presada.

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