Friday, 22 January 2021 10:13

President of Parliament sends reply to President of Constitutional Court

In respect of the response by President of the Constitutional Court Mr Budimir Šaranović regarding the allegations by President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Aleksa Bečić stated during the Sitting of the First Extraordinary Session of 20 January 2021, hereby we integrally communicate the response of the President of the Parliament:

“Act of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro U-II No 6/21, of 18 January 2021, set the deadline of 15 days for the Parliament of Montenegro to submit its reply and necessary documentation.

This was done even though the Constitutional Court was very well aware that the said deadline in the period of the extraordinary session set by the Constitution could not be observed by the Parliament in no case. This is the shortest possible deadline set by the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court for submitting replies and necessary documentation.  It is abundantly obvious that the deadline set in this manner is inconsistent with the manner of work and deadlines for convening and holding sittings of the Parliament during the extraordinary session.

In your response of 20 January 2021, you did not explain in any form the reasons for such treatment of the Constitutional Court. However, you indicated that you had become aware that at today’s sitting of the Parliament of Montenegro the deadline for submitting reply to the Constitutional Court was commented and that ungrounded claims were stated in respect of a judge rapporteur in this case; that Article 10 paragraph 1 indent 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court prescribed the prohibition of disclosing information about the judge rapporteur or advisor assigned with a case and information, which in this specific case was obviously violated; as well as that you rejected as absolutely ungrounded comments made in the sitting of the Parliament of Montenegro in respect of the judge rapporteur in this case.

In this connection, Mr President of the Constitutional Court, let me inform you that in the sitting of the First Extraordinary Session in 2021, held on 20 January 2021, in the capacity of the President of the Parliament, I inform the Parliament about the content of the Act of the Constitutional Court U-II 6/21 of 18 January 2021 as well as about reasoned request by the Parliament of Montenegro which asked from the Constitutional Court to set another objective deadline when the Parliament would be able to, by respecting the Constitution and the parliamentary Rules of Procedure, exercise its right and fulfil its statutory role of submitting reply to the Constitutional Court with regard to the submitted proposal for constitutional and judicial review of the decision on forming the Committee on comprehensive electoral reform.

In the sitting I also stated  that I had no such information, but that I was positive that the deadline of 15 days was requested from the President of the Constitutional Court by judge Ms Desanka Lopičić, which does not exclude the responsibility of the President of the Constitutional Court because he was the one who signed the official letter addressed to the Parliament Therefore, I said that I was stating my own conviction, which is my right, bearing in mind the developments in the Constitutional Court very well known to the public, but I did not made the statement in the form of the resolute position that judge Desanka Lopičić was a judge rapporteur  in the said case. Moreover, almost in the same sentence I left the possibility that my assessment could be wrong, whereby I pointed out that the Constitutional Court would find a way to deny that if it considered necessary.

With your allegations that I made ungrounded statement and unfounded comments regarding the judge rapporteur in concreate case, it was precisely you, not I, Mr President of the Court, who stated that Ms Desanka Lopičić was a judge rapporteur in this case.

You rejected as ungrounded my “serious doubt regarding the intentions of the Constitutional Court”, whereby in no way you explained the reasons for which the Constitutional Court for the first time set the deadline of 15 days to the Parliament, as party to the proceedings, for submitting the reply and documentation on submitted proposal for constitutional and judicial review of the contested act of the Parliament.

To conclude, Mr President of the Constitutional Court, in the last paragraph of your response, you assessed the request and reasons of the Parliament for prolonging the deadline for submitting the reply and documentation as justified and based on the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, therefore you reached decision to prolong the said deadline for the Parliament for another 15 days, and thus gave the best justification to each word that I uttered in this regard during the First Extraordinary Sitting of the Parliament in 2021. Furthermore, you decided to adopt the decision on prolonging the deadline only after the parliamentary sitting was held, although you had had an opportunity to resolve that issue before the holding the sitting, and thus spare your institution and prevent the events that followed, and deprive all of us of the occasion to write this and previous official letters”.

Office letter No 00-32-2/21-33/2