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Moldovan opposition collects signatures for referendum on constitutional reforms

The Demnitate si adevar (Dignity and Justice) civic platform in Moldova is collecting signatures for a referendum on constitutional reforms. The authors of the reforms suggest electing the president directly, cutting the number of MPs and limiting their immunity.

A relevant bill was read out during the last meeting of the Council of the Grand National Assembly in the center of Chisinau.

According to the chairman of the council Andrei Nastase, the whole country wanted constitutional reforms. “As many as 91% of our citizens want to be able to elect and dismiss the President on their own. We have informed the Central Election Commission of our initiative,” Nastase says.

According to the bill, the president of Moldova should be elected by popular vote. If none of the presidential hopefuls gets more than half of the votes, the two leaders go for a runoff. The bill also gives the people the right to dismiss the зresident.

“If the president violates the Constitution and the Constitutional Court and more than 1/3 of the MPs confirm this, he may be dismissed by a referendum,” says the bill.

“We must organize a nationwide referendum in order to remove all gaps in the constitution and to be able to keep our finger on the pulse of the government,” says political analyst Igor Botan.

“Our initiative is the outcome of the protest actions we have held since on Apr 5. What we want is absolutely legal. Moldova is the only post-Soviet republic where there have been no referendums on independence or constitutional reforms. Now, after 25 years of horrors, robbery and humiliation, we have decided to organize a referendum. We have no right to fail this exam. The President’s declassified correspondence has shown that he was well aware of the robbery we all went through. Do we need such a president?” Botan says.

For the referendum to be held, the organizers need no less than 200,000 signatures. The procedure will take three months.

This is the second such referendum. The previous one was held on Sept 5 2010 but was declared void due to low turnout.

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