Constitution of the
Republic of Moldova

Moldovan president presents draft law on Constitution's amendment

President Igor Dodon today held a news briefing, during which he unveiled a draft law on the Constitution’s amendment, in order to provide more powers to the Moldovan presidency.

At the event, the head of state made the following important announcement:  

“I inform you that I have worked out a draft law on amending the Constitution, in order to provide more powers to the presidential institution.    

Which are the grounds of this initiative:

The direct election of the President offered a higher degree of responsibility and powers to the head of state. The character of the representativeness and legitimacy of the President, who has the mandate of the entire people, has been consolidated.  

Respectively, the draft law comes as a result of the switch to the direct form of election of the head of state, which entails the need to establish efficient mechanisms of balancing the state powers, thus ensuring the coherence of the Constitution.  

One of the powers which should be incumbent on the head of state is the one of dissolving the Parliament.

The amendments proposed in the draft regard other grounds of parliament’s dissolution than the ones stipulated in the Article 85 of the Constitution. Five additional grounds of dissolving the parliament are proposed, specific to the parliamentary, semi-presidential forms of government.    

Thus, the draft suggests that Moldova’s president could dissolve the parliament in the following cases:

1. After consulting the parliamentary factions. This mechanism is present in the French Republic, which ensures the cooperation between the legislative and executive powers.  

2. The parliament failed to implement the people’s will, expressed at a consultative referendum, in a 12-month period. The national sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercises it directly and through its representative bodies, in the forms established in the Constitution. Or, the effects of a consultative referendum cannot be denied by the legislative body, which should have obligation to implement them. See, for instance, the practice of Romania’s Constitutional Court.  

3. The republican referendum on the dismissal of Moldova’s president had a negative result or its invalidity was confirmed by the Constitutional Court. The amendment proposed is based on suggestions by the Constitutional Court, notifications by the Venice Commission and European practice. There is such a constitutional provision in Slovakia and Austria, both parliamentary republics.     

4. The parliament did not adopt the state budget law in a two-month term after the beginning of the financial exercise. It is unacceptable to allow situations, in which the parliament does not manage, for lack of political agreement, to adopt the state budget law in a legal term. After analyzing the process of adoption by the parliament of the laws on annual budget for the last seven years, we ascertain that they were adopted with big delays in relation to the beginning of the annual financial exercise. The Constitutions of Estonia and Hungary contain such grounds of dissolving the parliament.      

5. The dissolution of the parliament by referendum, initiated by the country’s president. Currently, Moldova’s Constitution does not contain clear-cut provisions which would allow the people to sanction the parliament for violation of its obligations to represent and carry out the interest of this people. There is such a practice in Estonia.     

I will submit to Moldovan parliament’s lawmakers this draft on Constitution’s amendment, with the urge to back this proposal of revising the Constitution. If the proposal fails to collect the needed number of signatures, we will start the procedure of revising the Constitution based on people’s initiative.   

I specify that, in line with the supreme law, the Constitution’s revision can be initiated in the following ways:

a) at citizens’ initiative;

b) by a number of at least one third of the MPs;

c) by the government.

I hope that we get a minimum support from one third of the lawmakers, in order to go further with this initiative,” Igor Dodon said.