13 Dec 2017 20:32

Moldovan govt approves renaming official language 'Romanian'

CHISINAU. Dec 13 (Interfax) - The Moldovan government has approved a bill on changing the name of the official language as specified in the Constitution from Moldovan to Romanian, an Interfax correspondent reported from a meeting of the government.

The bill would replace the phrase "the Moldovan language functioning on the basis of the Latin script" with "the Romanian language" in Article 13 of the Constitution.

The bill complies with the ruling of the Constitutional Court of December 5, 2013, which stipulates that if there is a conflict between the texts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the provisions from the Declaration of Independence prevail, Moldovan Justice Minister Vladimir Cebotari said.

None of the members of the government opposed this initiative. Irina Vlah, the baskan (governor) of Gagauzia, who was on a business trip to Moscow, was absent from the meeting.

On December 5, 2013, the Moldovan Constitutional Court ruled that the official language in Moldova is the Romanian language. The court justified its decision by saying that the text of the Declaration of Independence of Moldova, which identifies the country's language as Romanian, prevails over the Constitution, which mentions the Moldovan language. In accordance with this ruling, a group of parliamentarians initiated a bill to amend the Constitution. The Constitutional Court endorsed this initiative on October 31.

According to legislation, the parliament has the right to adopt a bill amending the Constitution not earlier than six months after the introduction of the relevant initiative for the consideration of the parliament. Amendments are adopted by a two-thirds majority (67 out of 101 deputies). If the bill is not adopted within a year, the initiative is regarded as void.

Moldovan President Igor Dodon has described changing the name of the official language from Moldovan to Romanian as "unacceptable." After a change of government, "the illegal decisions of the current Constitutional Court will be revised," he said. He has also said that he is confident that this amendment will not win the 67 votes required for its adoption.