President Iohannis notifies CCR on ANCOM law for the second time

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President Klaus Iohannis has notified the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), for the second time this year, over the law approving the GEO 33/2017, through which the ruling power has amended the procedure of appointing the leadership of the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM). The Romanian president first notified the constitutional judges over this issue in January, slamming that he had been removed from the ANCOM appointment procedure since May last year. Howver, after his first notification, the CCR ruled that the ordinance is constitutional.

Subsequently, President Iohannis has sent the law back in Parliament for re-examination (on May 3, 2018), and now says that the new draft is different from the initial one received, arguing it contains some constitutional exceptions.

According to a document submitted by the Presidency to the CCR, article 11, line 2 in the previous form of the re-examination request, it was stipulated that the ANCOM president and two vice-presidents are appointed by the parliament, in the joint plenary sitting of the two chambers, by the majority of votes cast by the deputies and senators attending the sitting.

In the new form proposed after the re-examination, the ANCOM leaders are named by the vote of the majority of deputies and senators.

In May last year, after the Grindeanu Government passed the GEO 33/2017, President Iohannis compared the ordinance to the controversial GEO 13. “I am concerned with the ANCOM issue, which is striking similar to the topic of GEO 13. This Cabinet hasn’t unfortunately understood very well which is its role in the constitutional architecture. It was not a matter of legality with the ANCOM ordinance, but of opportunity, the total lack of transparence in the decision-making process,” Iohannis argued back then.

Former premier Sorin Grindeanu was appointed as the head of ANCOM in November 2017. If the Constitutional Court rules in favor of the head of state’s complaint, Grindeanu’s position will be considered unconstitutional.

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