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Moldova Constitutional Court finds ban on use of Communist symbols unlawful

June 05, 2013, 0:06 UTC+3

The bill was backed in July last year

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CHISINAU, June 4 (Itar-Tass) - Moldova’s Constitutional Court has found unlawful the ban on the use of the Communist symbols - hammer and sickle - endorsed by parliament in 2012.

The bill was backed in July last year by most deputies of the ruling pro-European coalition consisting of Democrats, Liberals and Liberal-Democrats. It was introduced on the basis of the conclusions of the commission for the study of the totalitarian Communist regime. The commission was instituted by head of the Liberal party Mihai Ghimpu who had been interim president earlier.

The commission proposed to ban the use of Communist symbols in Moldova, to open a museum of “Soviet occupation” and to publish a school text-book about “crimes of Communists.”

Many experts assessed this as an attempt at pressure on the opposition Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova. The party disagreed with the Commission’s decision, finding it unconstitutional, and addressed an interpellation to the Constitutional Court.

It took judges of the Constitutional Court nine months to discuss the matter, even though in accordance with law they should have concluded it within six months since receiving the interpellation. Chairman of the Constitutional Court Alexander Tenase explained this by the need to consult the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe’s advisory body on law).

Having studied the Moldovan law, the Venice Commission arrived at the conclusion that the bill should be found unconstitutional and abrogated; otherwise, the Moldovan government stands to lose another case in the European Court of Human Rights.

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