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Senator Tariceanu says court ruling violates nullity of imperative mandate, independence of lawmakers

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Inquam Călin Popescu Tăriceanu

Former Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu says that the "principle of nullity of imperative mandate" is violated by the recent ruling of the Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) that there is no legal conflict between the Senate and the Attorney General's Office with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation after the Attorney General's Office accused Tariceanu in court of abuse of office.

"Basically, this court ruling, I think, sets a very dangerous precedent. I respect the court's rulings, but I allow myself to comment on the consequences of this decision. One of the fundamental principles of the functioning of Parliament is the nullity of the imperative mandate - no one has no right to ask a lawmaker to vote one way or not to vote. Under this ruling, the principle of the nullity of the imperative vote is violated. From now on we may find ourselves investigated by the Attorney General's Office for voting one way or not voting, and I do not mean myself. That is extremely dangerous because (...) the independence of lawmakers is violated in this way and all those who are running now must know what awaits them in the future," Tariceanu said on Thursday after the CCR ruling.

According to him, all lawmakers will find themselves investigated by the Attorney General's Office in connection with the votes they cast.

He mentioned that the interim chairman of the Senate, Robert Cazanciuc, made this notification to the court and that the essence of the conflict started from a request by the National Integrity Agency for stripping a senator of his seat in Parliament for having been found incompatible in 1996.

According to Tariceanu, "the lawmakers that did not follow the imperative mandate were from all parties."

The Romanian Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that there was no legal conflict between the Senate and the Attorney General's Office after the Attorney General's Office accused Tariceanu in court of abuse of office.

Earlier this year, Tariceanu was informed by the Attorney General's Office that he is a suspect for the crime of abuse of office, with his investigation being extended to include the crime of complicity collusion to usurp official capacities.

The case opened after lawmaker Cristian Marciu kept his seat in the Senate although there was a final ruling of the Supreme Court in 2015, according to which he had violated the law of incompatibilities.

Tariceanu stands accused by prosecutors of failing to implement, as chairman of the Senate, a final court ruling.

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