Romanian PM quits after Constitutional Court ruling

Friday, July 8, 2005

Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced his government is quitting yesterday, after facing the decisions of Constitutional Court ruling that some of the laws pushed in a fast-forward manner through the Parliament were breaking the fundamental law in two minor articles, making them impossible to adopt.

The laws were considered very important in the process of Romania's European Union integration and they were establishing new rules in the field of justice. Other laws related to the reparations for communist expropriation were adopted later as there was no objection regarding them. The government has already survived a vote of confidence in order to push the projects into full laws, and as a result was unable to ask for a second vote of confidence with the laws modified to satisfy the contitution.

Tariceanu and his ministers are saying that the Constitutional Court was partial, because the judges were previously members of the main opposition party, the Social-Democrats, which is allegedly trying to stage a scene of government incompetence. The second allegation is that the laws were meant to speed up the retirment of old judges, educated during communist years, a category which includes the Constitutional Court judges.

Tariceanu declared that he wants early elections, but outcome of this move is unpredictable, due to the tedious process the Romanian law established for it. Opposition parties claim this is a way for the current coalition to obtain more places in the parliament, and speak of a political crisis created artificially by the ruling coalition. All the parties in the parliament are supporting the integration of Romania in the EU in 1 January 2007, and say integration in 1 January 2008 represents a failure in politics of the other parties.