Opinion of Promo-LEX Association
Promo-LEX Association is alarmed by the trends that take shape in the society – when certain important national public authorities limit the citizens’ right to initiate a referendum, as well as to freely express their opinions in a democratic exercise. We think that such tendencies do not pursue a legitimate aim and are unnecessary in a democratic society. We are concerned that these trends could lead to certain discretionary restrictions of this right. We refer to the fact of compromising the citizens’ right to initiate a republican legislative referendum itself – aspects mentioned by the CEC in the body of its decision (Decision No 1344 of 12.01.2018), as well as to the findings of the Constitutional Court in the Decision No 24 of 27.07.2017, which make the citizens’ right to initiate any kinds of referenda seem to be expressly limited.
Promo-LEX Association disapproves of the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to reject the registration of the Initiative Group for conducting a republican legislative referendum on repealing Law No 154 of 20 July 2017, which changed the electoral system into the mixed one. We think that the right to organise a referendum is a guaranteed right of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, naturally fitting in the concept of the rule of law and national sovereignty as the existential foundations of a democracy.
We regret that in this situation (in comparison with other similar or comparable cases) the citizen-serving public authority took a stand of insisting on emphasising exclusively the letter of the law, while totally and groundlessly ignoring its spirit. The Association considers that the procedural grounds invoked by the CEC are of minor legal relevance and are unable to put in question the legality and lawfulness of the created initiative group, as well as of the citizens’ right to freely express their opinion in such a democratic exercise as referendum.
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