Parliament: Establishment of Constitution revision commission postponed

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The joint Standing Bureaus of the Senate and the Deputies’ Chamber decided during the meeting held on Monday to postpone the setting up of the parliamentary commission for the Constitution revision.

The proposal to set up the commission belonged to the ruling Democratic Liberals (PD-L), however, during the meeting of the joint Standing Bureaus, the representatives of the National Liberal Party (PNL, in opposition) and of the Social Democrat Party (PSD, in opposition) voted against this proposal.
Social Democrat Senate’s Chairman Mircea Geoana explained on Monday that the decision to postpone represents ‘a responsibility move,’ adding that a discussion between the parliamentary groups’ leaders is necessary in order to reach a common ground for the Constitution’s modification.

‘I have requested that the leaders of the parliamentary groups should have a discussion in order to establish the common denominator for setting up such a commission. I believe we need it and I urge them to meet as soon as possible. I do not want to procrastinate such an initiative. Buying time is not the PSD’s intention. (…)
I will accept (Chamber Speaker) Roberta Anastase’s proposal to call a new meeting of the joint Standing Bureaus in order to discuss this matter, but only after the leaders of the parliamentary groups had previously met. Never before was such a procedure launched in the absence of a previous consultation process,’ Geoana stated.

He declared himself the supporter of a more ‘extensive’ modification of the Constitution, pointing out that a serious debate on this matter was needed.
Geoana also underscored the adequacy of organising a referendum on the topic of the Constitution’s revision during a non-election year, such as 2011.

‘The difference between the PSD and PNL groups on the one hand and the groups of the PD-L and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR, a ruling coalition partner) on the other hand, was that the proposal the Democrat Liberals made exclusively targeted the Constitution’s modification on the topic of a one-chamber Parliament.

The PSD opinion is that if we modify the Constitution, then it is necessary to have a serious debate on this matter. We are actually talking about a comprehensive modification of the Constitution – starting with the question whether we need a parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential republic and up to the institutions’ roles and the guarantee of the citizens’ rights.
However, we do not agree to modify the Constitution and present ourselves in front of the Romanians only with the bicameral or unicameral system issue,’ pointed out the Senate’s chairman.

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