President Klaus Iohannis has proposed Simina Tanasescu, former presidential adviser, for the vacant position at the Constitutional Court. She is to replace Petre Lazaroiu.
“Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has signed the decree on May 6 to appoint Mrs. Elena-Simina Tanasescu in the position of judge at the Constitutional Court for a mandate of nine years, starting June 9, 2019,” reads a Presidency’s press release.
The Constitutional Court send a notification to President Iohannis, to the speakers of Chamber of Deputies and Senate, informing them on the need to replace three constitutional judges whose mandate are expiring in June.
Along with the new appointments, the majority in the CCR, which is currently favourable to the Social Democrats, might be overturned.
Judge Petre Lazaroiu’s mandate as CCR judge is expiring on June 2 and the Presidency has to propose a magistrate to replace him. Lazaroiu was appointed to CCR by the former president Traian Basescu, but he seemed to have been mostly on PSD’s side in various circumstances in the past years.
For instance, the most recent controversy around Lazaroiu was related to the ruling the Constitutional Court must give on the referral filed by PSD deputy Florin Iordache, also vice-president of the lower chamber, against the Supreme Court’s 3-judge panels. Lazaroiu was commissioned to draft the report of recommendations on this referral, yet, amid growing tension prompted by the case’s huge political stake, Lazaroiu announced at the last minute that he has a medical problem and cannot come to work. So, the ruling on the Supreme Court’s panels has been delayed twice, with a new court hearing set on May 20.
In the summer of last year, Lazaroiu also seemed to be on PSD’s side when he claimed that he had been contacted by Simina Tanasescu, presidential adviser back then, and that she had told him there are requests by the civil society to issue a decree to end his judge mandate. Following these statements, Simina Tănăsescu resigned.
The two chambers of the Parliament to propose new CCR judges
The second CCR judge who is ending his term in June is Stefan Minea, proposed by the Chamber of Deputies. Although, rumours said that PSD,which has all the cards to impose a candidate, will propose Florin Iordache for this position, the deputy himself denied he is interested in such a position.
Political sources quoted by local media revealed that PSD’s proposal for the CCR judge position on behalf of the Chamber of Deputies is former Ombudsman Gheorghe Iancu.
The mandate of the constitutional judge proposed by the Senate is also expiring next month, namely Maia Teodoroiu. She was proposed by PSD, but her seat should be taken by ALDE now, PSD’s ruling partner. FM Teodor Melescanu has been already rumored for this position. However, sources told local media that PSD chair Liviu Dragnea won’t give up this seat to give it to Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s party and that’s why there is currently a deadlock in the ruling coalition on this topic.