Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Last Straw

Today, the Supreme Court of Justice has overturned the 'wet bus ticket' ("severe reprimand") given to Ion Muruianu for calling Moldova's journalists 'rabid dogs' and making rulings that breach the human rights of Moldova's citizens.  This is another step in Muruianu's (and his communist backers') reassertion of control over Moldova's judiciary.

To me this is the last straw.  The clean-up of Moldova's judiciary is not an optional extra.  It is an absolute must if the rights of citizens are to be protected and the country is to have any chance of joining the European Union.

It appears, however, that the AIE has no further mechanisms to use in its attempts to make progress on Justice.  The constitution gives the judiciary self-governance and independence, and Constitutional Court rulings have extended these freedoms in such a way that the judiciary is not even accountable to the people of Moldova or their representatives.

Now recall the impasse over the election of the President of the republic.  Elitist Europeans, such as Miszei and Buquicchio don't want the President elected by the people and don't want the people to have their say on the issue through a referendum, a position very similar to that of the communists.  The Constitutional Court is contributing to the mess through a 1999 decision which ruled that referendums are only consultative and therefore the constitution can only be changed in Parliament.

Also recall the immunity that Voronin and many other communist wrongdoers enjoy as members of parliament, and the fact that a vote of a super-majority of deputies would be required to lift it.

Then think about the intractability of the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict, and the lack of levers that the Moldovan government has at its disposal to make progress in this area.

The bottom line is that MOLDOVA MUST HAVE A NEW CONSTITUTION.  Why?  Because

  1. The current crop of compromised Constitutional Court judges needs to be replaced by people who truly believe in the sovereignty of the people and the rule of law.  A mechanism should be put in place to provide supervision to and require accountability from the CC judges.
  2. The leadership of the mainstream judicial system also needs to be rolled, and the system reformed such that a credible international institution (e.g. the ECJ) becomes Moldova's highest court.
  3. Parliamentary immunity needs to be restricted to only the three top office-holders and represent only a deferment of legal culpability (rather than an avoidance).  In this way, those that committed crimes during the communist era can be held accountable.
  4. The impasse over the election of the President should be resolved by handing this task back to the people from whom it was stolen in 2000.
  5. Neutrality should be conditional on Moldova not having foreign troops on its soil.
I believe the moves 1-5 above would be sufficiently popular for a constitutional referendum to pass.  Were a referendum to be held, there would be screaming from the Communists, the CC, Buquicchio and Miszei, but frankly, who cares?  The AIE government is accountable only to the people of Moldova.  The Constitution describes them as sovereign and says that referendums have supreme legal power.

I simply don't see any other way to move forward and make Moldova  a modern, democratic state.

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