19 Jun 2023 20:14

Moldovan Constitutional Court declares Shor Party unconstitutional

CHISINAU. June 19 (Interfax) - The Moldovan Constitutional Court ruled on Monday to find the Shor Party unconstitutional, after considering the government's inquiry.

"The Shor Party is declared unconstitutional in light of the numerous violations it has committed, and the non-compliance of its activities with the constitution," Constitutional Court President Nicolae Rosca said when pronouncing the judgment.

The Shor Party was outlawed from the moment the court ruling was handed down, and the Justice Ministry has been instructed to delete the party from the country's party register.

The court also ordered that members of parliament from the Shor Party and other lawmakers representing it in local legislatures be considered unaffiliated, and cannot join other factions.

The court's ruling takes effect from the moment of its promulgation, is final, and cannot be contested, it said.

Marina Tauber, a parliamentarian and deputy chairperson of the Shor Party, said the party intended to go to the European Court of Human Rights to appeal the Constitutional Court's ruling. "The Constitutional Court's ruling does not put an end to our party. This is the beginning of a new stage in the Shor Party's struggle. We will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which will reverse this shameful judgment made on President Maia Sandu's order," Tauber said.

The Moldovan parliament voted in May to deprive Tauber, who is charged with the illegal financing of the Shor Party, of parliamentary immunity from prosecution. The court ordered that Tauber be placed under house arrest, but allowed her to attend the Constitutional Court's hearings on banning the party, as investigators believed she may have been involved in criminal schemes to finance the party.

The government filed its motion with the Constitutional Court to have the Shor Party outlawed on November 9, 2022, arguing that it "acts contrary to the principles of the rule of law and threatens Moldova's sovereignty and independence." The party's leader, fugitive parliamentarian Ilan Shor, attributed the move to the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS)'s desire to gain a constitutional majority in parliament.

Shor himself was deprived of his parliamentary mandate at the end of April 2023.

On April 13, a Moldovan court sentenced Shor to 15 years in prison, and ordered that his property worth 5 billion lei, the equivalent of more than $280 million, be confiscated for the state. He has been in hiding in Israel since June 2019.

The Venice Commission said on December 19, 2022, when commenting on the inquiry into the constitutionality of the Shor Party's activity that, while governments are entitled to regulate the activities of political parties, ban them, or subject them to other restrictive measures, designating a party as unconstitutional constitutes interference in the right to freedom of assembly, and therefore the decision had to comply with the law.