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Moldova's Prosecutor General to be elected based on new rules

15:30 | 16.09.2019 Category: Political

Chisinau, 16 September /MOLDPRES/ - The mechanism of appointment of the Prosecutor General will be changed. The new rules are contained in a draft law passed by the parliament in the first reading at a meeting today.   

The draft law provides for amendments to the law on Prosecutor General’s Office and was declared as the most important draft law on the reform of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Its adoption in the first reading was backed with the votes of the majority of the MPs present at the meeting.   

Under the new rules, the candidate for the office of prosecutor general will be elected at a public contest, held in two stages. At the first stage, the candidates will be pre-selected by an independent commission created by the Justice Ministry. According to Justice Minister Olesea Stamate, the commission will be made up of the Justice Minister, a former prosecutor or former judge, an international expert, a national expert and a representative of the civil society, as well as an expert nominated by the parliament speaker. At the second stage, the Superior Council of Prosecutors (CSP) will be able to elect the Prosecutor General out of the list of candidates proposed by the commission.  

Another amendment included in the draft sees that the aspirants to the office of head of the Prosecutor General’s Office will be obliged to have an experience of at least five years in the position of prosecutor or judge or eight years in the office of lawyer or criminal investigation officer. At the same time, the CSP’s composition will be extended through the inclusion of the head of the Lawyers’ Union, ombudsman and civil society’s representative, who will be approved by the government.    

Presently, the Prosecutor General’s Office is elected through contest by CSP and put forward to the head of state for approval.  

The draft was criticized by the parliament’s opposition, according to which the mechanism of prosecutor general’s appointment will be politicized. The factions of the Moldovan Democratic Party (PDM) and Shor Party said they were not backing the draft. At the parliament’s rostrum, the head of the PDM parliamentary faction, Vladimir Cebotari, said that the draft was anti-constitutional and if the law is passed, the Democrats would contest it at the Constitutional Court, as the new regulations might reduce the independence of the institution of the Prosecutor General’s Office and cut the CSP’s powers.      

On 9 August 2019, CSP launched a contest for the office of prosecutor general, in conditions when Justice Minister Olesea Stamate demanded the contest’s postponing. Prime Minister Maia Sandu in late last week said that once the parliament adopts this law in the second reading and it is published, the contest organized by CSP would be regarded as null.

The position of Prosecutor General remained vacant on 11 July 2019, after Eduard Harunjen had resigned from office. At present, Dumitru Robu holds the post of acting Prosecutor General.   


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