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USR: Court ruling on dismissal of Anca Dragu shows why we need constitutional court reform

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USR

The Save Romania Union (USR) says that the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) to overrule the objection over the dismissal of Anca Dragu from the position of Senate chair shows that the current Constitutional Court is "extremely politicised," being "so involved in the game" of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) - National Liberal Party (PNL) majority that it "refutes" its previous jurisprudence.

According to a USR press statement, Wednesday's decision "strengthens the need to reform the Constitutional Court."

"Today's decision clashes with other older rulings of the Constitutional Court on the same subject. That shows that we need a reform of the Romanian constitutional court, which is much too politicised by the way judges are appointed and by their action. We need a constitutional court acting as a real arbiter, not as a permanent defender of power in relation to the opposition," USR national leader Dacian Ciolos is quoted as saying in the statement.

USR adds that by Wednesday's decision, CCR ruled that the chair of either chambers of Parliament could be removed "exclusively by the whims of a fleeting parliamentary majority" without misdeeds that the chair could be accused of or the consent of the parliamentary group having made the appointment recommendation.

USR says that in its filing with CCR it argued that the dismissal decision passed by the Senate violates Article 64 (2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the chairs of the chambers of Parliament shall be elected for the chambers' term of office. CCR rulings were mentioned in the text that Article 64 (2) of the Constitution cannot be interpreted as saying the dismissal of chamber chairs is only related to the existence of a parliamentary majority, fleeting or not, but, on the contrary, dismissal is legal punishment that must be affirmed and proven, says USR.

At the same time, USR argues that the decision of the Senate to dismiss Dragu violates Article 1(5) of the Constitution that provides for the principle of the supremacy of the law and of the Constitution, as well as Article 64 (5), by reference to Articles 2, 36 and 37.

"Ruling 601/2005 of the CCR was also mentioned in the filing, under which the constitutional judges showed that ignoring the political configuration of Parliament as a result of the will of the citizens during elections to the supreme representative body and substituting it with a fleeting majority resulting from the dynamics of the composition and re-composition of political forces in Parliament according to factors not considered by the voters violates the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and opens the way for parliamentary instability."

The Constitutional Court of Romania on Wednesday overruled a constitutional objection filed by USR against Anca Dragu being dismissed as chair of the Senate.

At the end of November, 2021, Dragu was dismissed from office, and on the same day PNL national leader Florin Citu was elected to lead the Senate.

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