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Draft Constitution is completed

The Commission for constitutional reform has completed its work on the draft of Moldova's new fundamental law. Praising the Commission for the work, acting president Mihai Ghimpu said he would like to see the new Constitution accepted through a national referendum, however, he added, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) still has to face the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The draft Constitution and the procedure for its adoption were approved by the Commission on Wednesday evening. Now the draft Constitution is to be discussed within the AEI and by each parliamentary group separately, and then submitted to the Venice Commission for expertise. In case of approval, the amendments of the fundamental law will have to pass through Parliament, article by article; then and only then will the Constitution be put up for referendum.

“The new Constitution meets the European standards. With its help we can overcome the constitutional deadlock and the state institutions will be able to work without impediments”, stated Mihai Ghimpu. “Now consultations are underway, but time will come for a final decision. The Venice Commission has told us that the crisis needs to be overcome, but it hasn't showed us the way – either a referendum or the amendment of Art.78 in Parliament. I think what the Venice Commission should tell us is – you are a sovereign state, you decide”, he said.

Democrat Alexandru Stoianoglo, deputy speaker, appreciated the draft, but said that it should rather apply to the next parliament, following early elections.

Perhaps the most important constitutional amendment is that the president would be elected through direct vote, instead of the vote in Parliament. Another key amendment lowers the voting age to 16. As for the official language, Parliament will have to choose between two versions: the Constitution expressly states the official language is Romanian (instead of Moldovan) or the official language is determined by a separate organic law.

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