The political class and environment of experts and producers of political debate have recently focused on one topic – how to hold early elections. At the same time, the Malaysian political party also sent a request to the Constitutional Council asking if the parliament could be dissolved after approving a declaration on this subject by a vote of at least 67 deputies (two-thirds of the elected members). The answer can be found using two simple tools: the Constitution and the Calendar.
The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova is quite clear regarding early elections. Article 85 of the constitution states in 4 articles this story in full, when it can be dissolved and when should the legislature be dissolved. Meanwhile, to help clarify this hypothesis, the former president of the Constitutional Court, Alexandru Tonas, came up with a blog article in 2016. Since then, we have changed two presidents, but the equation has remained the same.
How is Parliament dissolved?
Indeed, the decision to dissolve Parliament is in the hands of the President. But the president cannot do it alone. In order to dissolve Parliament, it must refer the matter to the Constitutional Court, specifying specific circumstances. For example, if we assume, ludicrously, that Maya Sandhu addresses today, January 14, 2021, with a request to verify the conditions for dissolution, then the Constitutional Court will most likely say that they do not exist.
The only exception is when the term of Parliament expires, around regular elections, which take place every 4 years.
Ocean? C ocean?
We return here to Article 85 of the Constitution, which can be quoted in full here.
Article 85: Dissolving Parliament
(1) In the event that the formation of the government is impossible or the procedures for adopting laws have been obstructed for a period of 3 months, the President of the Republic of Moldova may, after consulting with the parliamentary factions, dissolve Parliament.
(2) Parliament may be dissolved, if a vote of confidence to form a government is not accepted, within 45 days of the first request and only after at least two inaugurations have been rejected.
3. Parliament may only be dissolved once a year.
(4) Parliament cannot be dissolved in the last six months of the term of the President of the Republic of Moldova, nor during a state of emergency, siege or war. “
All of these are conditions in which parliament may or may not be dissolved. Points 1 and 2 clarify the conditions under which Parliament can be dissolved, and points 3 and 4 provide for cases in which it cannot be resolved.
Thus, from the first two articles we can conclude the following theses.
Parliament can be dissolved if MPs do not pass any law for a period of 3 months, A term that starts from the last meeting in which some draft laws were adopted.
Parliament can be dissolved if the deputies do not appoint the government for a period of 3 monthsThis is a period that starts from the date of the prime minister’s resignation or his dismissal by request.
In the case of the second scenario, when there is no government, the three-month period mentioned above may be shorter if two attempts to push a government within this period are rejected. Thus parliament can be dissolved in this case if 45 days have passed, but not from the government’s resignation, but from the refusal of the first attempt.
Parliament can only be dissolved twice a year. For example, if elections are held in March, and there is no majority, then elections will be held in the summer, in July. Then, if the majority is still missing, then new early elections cannot be held in the same calendar year.
If there is an emergency, siege, or war, nothing resolves.
On December 16, he left Parliament for the winter break, when the famous scandalous session, which you can read about here, is. From that moment, the dismissal began without the will of the deputies, a term referring to the mechanism of “obstructing the procedures for adopting laws for a period of 3 months.” This deadline ends on March 16th. Starting March 17th, the President may send a request to the CC asking whether the terms of Rule 81 have been met and, if so, dissolve Parliament. But here experts say that this period should not include deputies’ leave, but rather the period during which they were in parliament. In fact, as they say, “It’s a long battle.”
On December 23, Ion Chico resigned, respectively, from that moment on the calendar another deadline started running. This scenario is mentioned in Article 81 and refers to the issue “In the event that forming a government is impossible”. In fact, this period ends on March 23, 2021. Starting on March 24, 2021, Maya Sandhu can ask the Constitutional Court to ascertain the conditions for the dissolution of Parliament. Before addressing the court, Maya Sandhu must hold another round of consultations with parliamentary factions. Then the court can answer yes and dissolve Parliament.
Scenario 2 and a little
The first two are clear. However, the accompanying part of the scenario comes when we do not have a government. In our view, this scenario refers to a date that could happen at any time. It is absurd to assume that today, January 14, 2021, when we write this article, Maya Sandhu proposes a candidacy for the position of Prime Minister.
At the same time, suppose the candidate, even though he has 15 days to form an administration and program team, insists on attending today with a government team, and asks for a vote in Parliament. It is also absurd that the House of Representatives meets today but … refuses to vote. After that, a new deadline of 45 days is set, which will end on February 27, 2021. This deadline can only be applied if there is at least another investment application in the following period, which is of course rejected. Here too, for a period of 45 days from the first attempt, representatives can submit requests for each investment day, there is no limit of two.
One final note. The above 45 days duration is limited to the general duration of 3 months. The most obvious of this scheme was the former president of the Constitutional Court, Alexandru Tunas.
Is autolysis possible?
Because self-dissolution is not defined as forbidden, politicians and many constitutional lawyers have stated that it is possible. The scenario, for example, is for all members of Parliament to resign and for those holding alternative seats not to raise their seats. However, in the case of a parliament elected by mixed system, by electoral districts, this is not possible, because the Central Election Commission, once the position of Deputy is vacant, must organize new elections in that district, in our case, 51 of them.
The performance appraisal system suggests that this be possible, in the context in which a statement to this effect is adopted in Parliament, voted by 67 members.
However, in theory, there is nothing to prevent Parliament from voting on such a declaration, and going to the Constitutional Court “to ascertain the conditions” of the solution.
Ion Chicu’s former Deputy Minister of Justice and later Legal Counsel, Nicolae Eșanu, identified another aspect of this entire equation. According to him, Maya Sandhu will be obligated to nominate at least one candidate for prime minister within 90 days.
“Dissolving Parliament is a penalty applied against it for failing to implement some of its powers, in this case, for not implementing the powers entrusted to it in the government formation process. (…) As long as the request for a vote of confidence has not been submitted to the House of Representatives, it cannot have any relevance The government formation process, “he said.
Ianno’s argument leads to the idea that if 90 days passed without the president appointing a candidate for prime minister, then the Constitutional Court could somehow reject Maya Sando’s request to dissolve Parliament, because she did not fulfill her duties even in the end. The last time 3 months had passed without appointing a government was in June 2019, when Parliament was dissolved at the request of Pavel Philip, based on the interpretation that those three months are 90 days.
Respectively, then because Parliament did not appoint a government for 90 days (counted on June 7), it was dissolved. However, given that several political forces with a majority in Parliament – NOW and PSRM, who have insisted that it is in fact 3 months, estimate that this period will end in two days, on June 9.
What is certain is that in the Republic of Moldova, the wait-and-see road does not always lead to anticipation, but it may also lead to two governments for a week.
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