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President promulgates the referendum law

President Klaus Iohannis has promulgated the referendum law on Friday, after the Constitutional Court decided the amendments operated by the parliament on the bill are constitutional.

The new referendum law is controversial, being another example through which Romania’s president is removed from the procedure of organizing a referendum to revise the Constitution. So far, the Parliament used to draft a bill separate from the law every time a referendum was being held, a bill that the head of state promulgated or could send back for re-examination to the lawmakers.

The draft law amending the Referendum law has been initiated by 47 Social Democrat deputies and senators. The draft law was adopted by the deputies in September 2017. Initially the law was challenged to the Constitutional Court by PNL and USR, from the Opposition and the constitutional judges decided in November that the law does break the Constitution.

The Parliament adopted it again and the draft was again challenged to CCR. This time, the Court has rejected the Liberals’ appeal.

In March 2018, President Iohannis asked the Parliament to re-examine the draft, but MPs vetoed the president’s request, so the Referendum Law has been eventually adopted in the form desired by the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition and sent for promulgation to the Cotroceni presidential Palace.

In May, the head of state made a final attempt to block the law, sending a constitutional challenge to the Constitutional Court over the law, but his appeal has been rejected on June 19.

About Alina Grigoras Butu