14 Jul 2023 21:19

Bill restricting ex-leaders of Sor party passes 1st reading in Moldovan parliament

CHISINAU. July 14 (Interfax) - The parliament of Moldova on Friday passed on first reading a bill,which would impose restrictions on former Sor leaders after the party was ruled unconstitutional on June 19.

The legislation was favored by 56 members of ruling Party of Action and Solidarity in the 101-seat parliament.

The restrictions are contained in the bill concerning the "introduction of several provisions contained in a Constitutional Court ruling about the control over constitutionality of Sor political party."

The amendments to the Electoral Code add a new category of persons not allowed to stand for office: those "who were members of the executive organ of a party found unconstitutional, who held an elected office or who were on a list of proxy candidates of a party found unconstitutional." The restriction would be valid for three years after the Constitutional Court ruling.

Amendments also are being proposed to the political parties law. The attributes, names and symbols of political parties found unconstitutional "may not be used by other parties, electoral blocs and other election rivals." Failure to comply with this rule would be ground for the Public Services Agency to refuse to register a political party.

Motivating its June 19 ruling the Constitutional Court said that Sor spoke out against the "principles of the rule of law, sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova" and received illegal funding. As a result, the party was disbanded and its representatives in parliament and other elected bodies are now independents.

At the same time the Court ruled that Sor parliamentarians "retain their seats but may not join other factions. All persons who have been elected from the party as city mayors, district council heads, local councilors and the governor of Gagauzia will carry on their duties in the capacity of independents, without a right to associate themselves in any way with the party.

Concurrently, the Court canceled the Sor lists of candidates to parliament and other authorities. This means that if a mandate of a parliamentarian or a councilor is suspended for one reason or other, the next one on a list will not be appointed as a parliamentarian or a councilor. These offices will remain vacant until the term of the relevant elected body expires.