Center of Constitutional Law and Political Institutions
University of Bucharest Faculty of Law
Professor dr. Ioan Muraru
Lecturer dr. Simina Tanasescu
The Constitution in Romania
1. Short explanations concerning the issuing and the development of the Constitution in Romania
The modern constitutionalism confronted with a certain delay in Romania, by comparison with the West-European countries, fact justified by the specific general historical circumstances of our country.
We consider the starting point of the Romanian constitutional development the Organic rules which marked the beginning of the modern State and corroborated the opening towards independence thereof.
The Walachian and Moldavian 1831 Organic rules represent acts shaving a constitutional character, constituting a kind of "constitutional and administrative " codes. It consisted of some rules referring to the State powers' organization such as:
- the national assemblies established by suffrage, on the basis of the qualification of property, endowed with certain legislative powers;
- the right to vote and to sanction the law whereby it was empowered the prince;
- the extraordinary National Assembly established in order to be elected the prince, and so on.
Besides the afore-mentined facts, it has been constituted a lot of other provisions of administrative, financial, civil law, as well as the civil procedure.
The period prior to the first Romanian Constitution is characterized by serious social agitations and movements, as a manifestation of the struggle for the performance of the State unity of the Romanian people, for the removing of the feudal order, for the carring out of the democratic revendications. The 1848 Revolt, notwithstanding was stifled, it impulsed these endeavours stated by the Proclamation of Izlaz. This Proclamation has been considered as a draft of Constitution that was to be submitted to the adoption to a Constituent Extraordinary General Assembly. In essence, the Proclamation prescribed the administrative and legislative independence of the country, the republican form of government with a prince elected for 5 years by all the society sections, his responsibility, the ministers and all the civil servants' responsibility, the right of counties to elect by themselves their high officials, some citizens' rights and freedoms and so on.
The 1858 Convention of Paris sanctioned the developments of constitutional nature, especially of institutional nature. Thus, by this juridical act it has been established the Central Commission of Focsani having a similar statute with the Conservative Senate during the period of French Constitution of VIII-th year or of the Napoleon the III-rd imperial regim.
A special position within the historical premises of the first Romanian Constitution was the performance, in 1859, of the national unitary State, by the union of Walachia with Moldovia under Alexandru Ioan Cuza's reign. This period of time has been carried out a succession of some important reforms. In the constitutional field, a special significance has constituted the
"Developed Statute of the Convention of 7/9 August 1858", adopted by plebiscite (known under the denomination of "Cuza's Statute"), as well as the electoral law enclosed thereto. These two acts constituted the first Romanian Constitution, in spite that it has been devoid of some significant elements specific to the modern constitutions (especially provisions referring to the citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms).
The Statute's provisions has entrusted the State's powers to the prince and to the national representation. The latter has had a bicameral structure and it has been constituted of the Balancing Assembly and Elective Assembly. The legislative power has been collectively exercised by the prince and the two assemblies, the legislative initiative being assigned to the prince.
The Cuza's Statute sanctioned the legislative independence acquired by the United Principalities still in 1862, pursuant to the visit of Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Constantinopol. It resulted from the "Alterations carried out by the Statute in the Statue's preamble", in which it was evinced that "The United Principalities shall, in the future, to alterate and to change the laws which concern the inside administration, with the support of all powers without any intervantion". Till the convening of the national representation, Article 18 of Statute awarded to the prince the right to issue decrees bearing law power, on the proposal of Council of Ministers and hearing thereof by the Council of the State.
The Cuza's Statute prescribed also rules referring to the setting up, organization and operation of the balancing and elective assemblies, where the laws were drafted, rules referring to the Government and the civil servants' obligation to take the faith oath. The electoral law established the electoral rights and the rules concerning the elections' organization and development.
On the basis of this Statute, the prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza enacted a succession of laws, whereby he performed important reforms, i.e. the land law of 14 August 1864, the great codifications - Civil Code, Criminal Code, Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure of 1864 - the law on the performance of the modernization of some activities - the communal law and the law on the counties' councils, the law on the justice' organization, the law on the public instruction and the law on the Army's reorganization, all adopted in 1864.
After the prince Cuza's abdication, in February 1866 and the ascending to the throne of the prince Carol (Carol of Hohentzolern of Sigmaringen) in the constitutional area is finalized the process of delivrance of a modern constitution by the adoption of the 1866 Constitution based on the 1831 Belgium Constitution's pattern, considered at that time the most liberal constitution.
This Constitution regulated the most important social relationships, consisting of 133 articles, structured in 8 titles, namely: On the Romanian territory, On the Romanian people's rights, On the State's powers, On the finance, On the Army's power, General provisions, On the Constitution's revision, Transitory and supplementing provisions.
The constitution established even within the first article, that "The Romanian United Principalities constitutes a unique indivisible State, denominated Romania". It has been regulated the citizens' fundamental rights, and within threof, a special care has been granted to the property, which is stated as being sacred and inviolable (Article 9), specifying that, as a strong guarantee that "none law shall prescribe the seizure of property's penalty" (Article 17).
Ruling the State's powers, the Constitution declares that all powers proceed from the nation and that the legislative power is jointly exercised by the Head of the State and by the national representation, consisting of two chambers: the senate and the chamber of deputies.The Members of Parliament's election was accordingly the colleges on property, i.e. 4 colleges for deputies and 2 for senators.
The executive power was assigned to the prince, the Constitution establishing the rules of the hereditary monarchy.
A certain interest, of historical nature, presents the general provisions, too, especially Article 127, which forbidded the possibility to suspend the constitution, those concerning the Constitution's revision (Article 128), as well as the transitory and supplementing provisions which laid down a certain legislative program.
The Constitution has undergone some alterations concerning the provisions on the political rights, in 1879, pursuant to the constitutional monarchy's declaration, in 1881, upon the press, the electoral system and the communal lands, in 1884 the guarantee of the right of property and as regards to the right to vote, in 1817 in pursuance to the termination of the Romanian unitary national State, in 1918, and so on.
The 1866 Constitution has been in force for more then a half of century, and within this period of time, the Romanian society suffered important transformations, especially in the economic area. In this respect, has been set up the guilds' system, it was established the national monetary system and the banks of credit, it was issued the Commercial Code, it was adopted the Gregorian calendar, it was carried out after the first war the land reform, and so on. Finally, it has to mention the electoral reform in 1918, which established the universal, equal, direct, secret and compulsory vote. Likewise, it was the period in which it was stated the law constitutional control on the judicial way, so, outside the duly authorities involved within the legislative process, it having a special influence upon the ensurering of the Constitution supremacy, upon the constitutional super-lawfulness and upon the concerned normatve order. This important development has been performed on the pretorian way, within the liberal environment of the State, pursuant to the decision in this respect, of 1912, of the High Court of Cassation and Justice. It represents an evolution which subsequently will be sanctioned by the 1923 Constitution. Under the 1866 Constitution's influence took place two extremely important events in the nation's history, namely: the country independence, in 1877, as well the union of the Basarabia, Bucovina and Transilvania with Romania, which led to the completion of our nation within the Romanian unitary State.
All these historical, political, social and legislative premises led to the adoption of 1923 Constitution.
Likely the former constitution, the 1923 Constitution is structured in 8 titles, namely: On the Romanian territory, On the Romanian people rights, On the State's powers, On the finance, General provisions, On the Constitution revision, Transitory and supplementing provisions.
The Constitution declares equal rights and freedoms for everybody. By Article 17, the Constitution guaranteed the private property and by Article 15, it forbidded the seizure of property's penalty.
As regard the State's powers, starting from the principle that it proceeds from the nation, the Constitution laid down that the legislative powers are jointly exercised by the king and by the national representation. The latter was constituted by two chambers, the assembly of deputies and the senate, elected by universal, equal, direct, compulsory and secret vote. The senate has consisted of senators by right, too, and in order to be elected as a senator it has been required to reach the age of 40.
The executive power has been assigned to the king, who exercised it through the Government.The 1923 Constitution set up the Legislative Council. As concerns the judicial power, it worth to keep in mind the provisions under Article 101, which forbidded the setting up of extraordinary tribunals, as well as Article 103, which sanctioned the laws' constitutinality control, by the Court of Cassation, in joint sections.
It has, likewise, to mention the provisions under Article 128, which forbidded the Constitution's suspension, as well as Article 131, which included, as an integrant part of the Constitution, some provisions of the land laws, previously adopted.
Albeit it is quite similar, as concerns not only the content but also, the form, with the 1866 Constitution, the 1923 Constitution represents an important evolution, especially since it grants wider rights and freedoms, it substitutes the qualificational electoral system by a democratic electoral system, it sanctions the judicial control of the law's constitutionality, and so on.
Finally, it has to notice that the 1923 Constitution has a rigid structure, since the procedure of revision was unwieldy one, almost similar to the former constitution.
Under the 1923 Constitution's influence took place an important process of modernization of the legislation, adopting especially, fresh rules on the fields of activity, i.e. the law on the legal persons of 1924, in force at present, or the Criminal Code of 1936 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which keep on to be in force until 1968, when it was adopted the present Criminal Code.
In 1938, was adopted the new Constitution approved by the plebiscite of 24 February 1938.
The 100 articles of 1938 Constitution are structured in 8 titles, namely: On the Romanian territory, On the State's power, On the finance, On the Army, General provisions, The Constitution revision, Transitory and final provisions.
In essence, the provisions of the new constitution sanction the king's power.
As concerns the State's powers, stressing that these emanates from the nation, the 1938 Constitution concentrates its in the king's hand, who is stated as the "Head of the State" (Article 30).
The king exercised the legislative power through the national representation, it having assigned the legislative initiative, including Constitution revision's initiative. Nevertheless, the king shall issue decrees bearing a law power, in any field, during the period when the assemblies were dissolved or were not in session, he might dissolve the assemblies, he might declare war and conclude peace, and so on.
The executive power was assigned, likewise, to the king, who was inviolable, the liability for the acts issued devolving upon the ministers, who were compelled to countersign the State acts of the king.
A lot of provisions have been taken over by the subsequent constitutions. It has to notice that instead of the universal vote it has been introduced the colleges on professions' system. As regard the age wherefrom the citizens were the right to elect and to be elected for the Assembly of Deputies, it has been raised to 30 years. As concerns the Senate, it was constituted of 3 categories, namely: senators appointed by the king, senators by right and senators elected.
Under the 1938 Constitution, the king dissolved the political parties, and by the Dictate of Vienna (30 August 1940) Romania has been bound to surrender to Hungary the North of Translvania. In September 1940, the king abdicated in favour of his son, the Constitution has been suspended, the legislative bodies dissolved, the king's prerogatives diminished, the president of the Council of Ministers has been endowered with full powers and on the grounds of a plebiscite organized by the mareshal Antonescu, he got the "Head of the State". This was the general framework of the State organization, by which Romania faced the second world war.
Within the actual circumstances of 1944, being impossible to issue a new constitution, it has been reinstated, with some alterations, the 1923 Constitution. All the time, it has been adopted some constitutional acts bearing a transitory character, consisting of fundamental rules of some aspects concerning the setting up, the maintenance and the exercise of the State power, which prefigured the constitutional principles which will be find again, later, subsequently adopted the Constitution.
In this respect, there was the Decree no.1,626/1944 on the "Determination of the Romanian people's rights within the 1866 Constitution and with the alteration of the Constitution of 29 March 1923", to this aim it has been partially reinstated the 1923 Constitution, the rescission of the legislation adopted by the military dictatorship starting from 1940 and establishment of some democratic rules of government.
Another act bearing a constitutional character is the Decree no 1,849/1944 on the "Appending of a new paragrapf at the end of Article IV of I.D.R. no 1,626 of 31 August 1944 ", in order to ensure the juridical framework to the purpose to consider and to punish the culpit persons of the country's disaster, a measure stipulated by the Convention of truce concluded with the United Nations. To this aim, it had to be removed the obstacles of constitutional nature related to certain articles of the 1923 Constitution, which forbidded the setting up of the extraordinary tribunals, the institution of the seizure of property's penalty and the enforcement of the death penalty, in other case then those provided for in the military criminal code, during the war.
The law on the Statute of the Minority Nationals had the purpose to declare and to ensure the citizens' equality, it doesn't matter the race, nationality, language or religion, to forbid the inquiry over the ethnical origin, in order to establish the juridical status and to afford the free usage of the mother tongue. Likewise, the law declared the freedom of the religious recognized by State.
By the way, some acts bearing a constitutional character is the Law no 187 of 23 March 1945 on the carring out of the land reform. The Decree no 2,218 of 13 July 1946 on the exercise of the legislative power, by which it was organized the National Representation within a "single body" denominated Assembly of Deputies, the legislative power has to be jointly exercised by the king and by this assembly, as well as the Law no 363 of 30 December 1947, on the establishment of the Romanian State as the Popular Republic of Romania, by which the monarchy has been abolished.
The 1948 Constitution has been adopted pursuant to the dissolvation of the Assembly of Deputies, by the Law no 32/1948 and the setting up of the Great National Assembly, as a Constituent Assembly, on the basis of the elections of 28 March 1948.
The Constitution consisted of 105 articles, structured in 10 titles, namely: The Popular Republic of Romania; The social-economic structure; The citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms, The supreme organ of the State power; The bodies of the State administration; The Council of Ministers and the ministries; The local bodies of the State's power; The judicial bodies and the Prosecutors' office; The arms, the seal, the colours and the capital-city; The Constitution's alteration; The transitory provisions.
The Constitution sanctions the existence of the Romanian State as an unitary, independent, sovereign and popular State, as well the general framework which led to the setting up of the communist regim, in the circumstances of the Soviet military occupation. Accordingly, the law's constitutionality control was exercised exclussively by the law-maker, bearing so a political character, the resolution being maintained in the 1952 and 1965 Constitutions.
On the grounds of the Constitution took place a quick legislative process, inspired by the new outstanding ideology, from among, the most illustrative, are the acts of nationalization. Within this framework, a lot of regulations got antimonic to the subsequent evolution, unless the case where some normative acts reflected some general valuable tendancies of the devolopment of the juridical pfenomenon, i.e. the case of the Labour Code of 1950.
Following the political and social-economic transformations performed within the political regim instituted by the 1948 Constitution, in 1952 it has been adopted a new Constitution.
The 1962 Constitution included an introductory chapter and 115 articles, structured in 10 chapters such as: The social system; The State system; The supreme body of the State's power; The State administrative bodies; The local bodies of the State's power; The courts and the prosecuring; The citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms; The electoral system; The arms, the colours and the capital-city; The procedure of the alteration of the Constitution.
Taking into consideration the economic, social and political relations of the particular historical moment when it has been adopted, the Constitution maintained and developed the constitutional principles stated still in 1948, including specific regulations concerning the State's power, the national economy with those three social - economic elements such as: socialist, small - trade production, capitalist - the enforcement of the democratic-centralism, the declaration of some rights and freedoms, the leading political power part of a single political party.
In the legislative area, it has been deeped the previous tendencies, both as concerns the legislation instituted by the communist ideology and some developments reflecting general-valid tendencies, i.e. the Family Code of 1954.
The period 1952-1965 characterized by the extention of the State and co-operative property, the dissolution of the private property and, especially, the setting up of the communist party as the unique party, therefore it having a decisive influence in the transformation of the juridical and social system.
In order to be established all these facts, it was adopted in August 1965 a fresh Constitution.
The Constitution, with subsequent alterations, had 121 articles, structured within 9 titles: Socialist Republic of Romania, The citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms, The supreme bodies of the State's power,The central bodies of the State's administration, The local bodies of the States's administration and power, The judicial bodies, the prosecuting bodies, The Romanian symbols, The final provisions.
In essence, the Constitution established the political system of the unique party, as governamental party, and contents the provisions referring to the forms of property, the State's powers, the citizens' fundamental rights, the external policy principles, citizenship, the State's organization. The State bodies have been structured in three categories: the State's power bodies (the Great National Assembly, the Council of the State, the President of the Republic, the popular councils); the State administration bodies (the Council of Ministers, the ministries and the other bodies of the State's administration, the committees and the executive bureau of the popular councils, the local speciality bodies of the State's administration, the judicial bodies ( the Supreme Tribunals, the county tribunals, the military courts and tribunals), the prosecuting bodies (Prosecutor General, the General Prosecuting, the county prosecutings, the local prosecuting bodies, the military prosecuting).
Under this Constitution, the legislation developed, in essence, reflecting and establishing the communist totalitarism principles, unless some regulations corresponding to a great extend to the tendencies which characterize the contemporary law's evolution, i.e. the Labour Code of 1972, which substituted the previous code of 1950, the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1968.
2. The present Constitution of Romania
The Revolt of December 1989 removed the power structures of the dictatorship regim and -naturaly- the concerned costitutional provisions. Nevertheless, the power's bodies - the National Salvation Front and, subsequently, the Provisional Council of National Union - repealed the chief regulations which have defined the previous regim's totalitarism, and stipulated acts with constitutional character, so establishing new constitutional principles, subsequently taken over by the 1991 Constitution.
The most important of these principles are as followes: the republican form of government, the powers separation, the rule of law, the political pluralism and the abolition of the unique party system, the predication of the human rights' inviolability and indefaesibility, the leader's offices eligibility, the resposibility and the dismissability of those devolving governmental offices, the nation's consultation by referrendum.
Among the acts adopted bearing a constitutional character, a special importance presented the Decree - law no 92 of 14 March 1990 concerning the election of the Parliament and of the President of Romania, since, on the basis of this normative acts it has been performed the transition from the provisional structures of the power towards a structure manifestly defined by law. In this respect, the Decree - law established the fact that the Parliament of Romania it proceeds to have a bicameral structure, consisting of Assembly of Deputies and the Senate, the members of Parliament are to be selected by universal, equal, direct, secret vote, freely expressed by a ballot on list, it involving the statement of counties as constituencies. The joint chambers constituted as Constituent Assembly, whereof part was the issuing of the Constitution, within a period of 9 months, but not later then 18 months. All the same, the Parliament carried out a legislative activity.
The Decree-law no 92/1990, the Parliament besides the bicameral structure intituted the office of President of Romania, too, directly elected, by universal vote, as well as the definition of the Government's statute, according to the parliamentary regim, some aspects, on principle, subsequently included within the 1991 Constitution.
Until the adoption of 1991 Constitution, the Decree-law no 92/1991 represented the fundamental constitutional act of the State, under which, the same time with the issuing of the Constitution, it has been adopted some regulations bearing a deep reforming character, too, i.e. the Law on the land's property - land reform - the Law on the administrative contencious matters or the Law on the trading companies.
The delivrance of the present Constitution answered to the requirement of the fundamental juridical framework of the development towards the democratic and social rule of law, the issuing of the Constitution representing one of the essential aspects of all political powers' programs and platforms.
The act of government, in fact, instituted on December 1991, notwithstanding identified itself as a true constituent power and abolishing the old power's structures, didn'd issue the Constitution, but organized the election of a Constituent Assembly, which did it. Once legally constituted, pursuant to the parliamentary election of 20 May 1990, the Constituent Assembly proceeded to the establishment of the Commission of drawing up of the draft of the Constitution of Romania, according to its Standing Orders.
By juridical statute set up, the Commission of drawing up of the draft of Constitution of Romania has been a special parliamentary commission, subordinated just to the Constituent Assembly, which issued, in a first stage, the principles and the structure on chapters of the future draft of the Constitution and after thereof approval by the Constituent Assembly, within the second stage, the full text of every chapter has been submitted to the debates and approved by the Constituent. The Constitution, afterwards had been approved, has been submitted to the national referendum organized on 8 December 1991. The referendum's result has been as follows: number of participants -10, 948,468; number of the votes valid expressed by the answer "yes" - 8, 464,234 (77%); number of the votes expressed by the answer "no" - 2,235,085 (22,4%); number of the votes null - 248,759 (2,3%).
The normative content of the Constitution is structured by juridical point of view in 152 articles, classified within 7 titles, some of these including chapters and sections.
The first title, denominated "General principles", includes some norms referring to the State's unitary structure, to its republican form of government, to its independence and suvereignty. The Romanian State is characterized as a democratic and social rule of law, in which the national suvereignty belongs to the people and is exercized by its reprezentative bodies or by referendum. As concerns the territory, this is administratively organized in communes, towns and counties. Within these, there are provisions by which it is recognized and is guaranteed the right of the national minorities to preserve, develop and express there ethnical, cultural, linguistic and religious identity. Nevertheless, it is established the Romanian State's liability to support the strengthening of the relations with the Romanian people outside our country and to act in order to preserve, to develop and to express their ethnical, cultural, linguistic and religious, of course complying to the State's legislation of which citizens they are. Likewise, within this title there are, also, some provisions concerning the political parties, establishing the pluralist political system, as well as the trade-unions. In this respect, it are provided for some basic rules concerning the acquiring and the losing of the Romanian citizenship, forbidding thereof withdrawal to those who acquired it by birth. Some provisions concern the Romania's international relations, defined as being peaceful and of good neighbour, as well as the juridical value of the international treaties. In this respect, there are established two rules of great importance, namely: Romania is liable precisely and with good faith to fulfil the obligations which are developed upon itself from the treaties in which it is a party; the treaties ratified by the Parliament, according to the law, belong to the domestic law. Within the first title, too, there are the provisions concerning the national symbols (the flag, the national day, the anthem, the coat arms and the State's seal), the State official language, which is Romanian language and the capital-city, which is the Bucharest Municipality.
The second title, denominated "Fundamental freedoms and duties" is structured in 4 chapters. First chapter, denominated "General provisions", establishes the constitutional principles enforcable in the field of the rights and freedoms. Within the Chapter II-nd "Fundamental rights and freedoms" are laid down the inviolabilities (right to life, right to physical integrity, personal freedom, right to defence, right to free movement, right to protection of personal, familial and private life, inviolability of domicile); social - economic and cultural rights and freedoms (right to education, right to protection of health, right to labour and social protection of labour, right to strike, right to property, right to inheritance, right to a living standard, right to marriage, right of the children and young to protection and assistence, right of the disabled persons to social protection); exclussively political rights (right to vote and right to be elected); social- political rights and freedoms (freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, right to information, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, secrecy of correspondency); rights-guarantees (right to petition, right of aggrieved person by a public authority). Within the Chapter III-rd are laid down the fundamental duties, namely: the observance of the Constitution and of the law; faithfulness towards the country; duty to defend the country, to perform the military service; obligation to bring contibution to the public expenditure; principle to exercise with good faith the rights and freedoms, observing the others rights and freedoms. Chapter IV-th regulates " Advocate of the People", as a guarantor of the citizens' rights and freedoms.
The Title III-rd, denominated "Public Authorities" is structured in chapters and some chapters have sections. First are the regulations concerning the Parliament, consisting of Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Parliament is elected by universal, direct, equal, secret, freely expressed vote, for 4 years. It proceeds then to regulate rights and freedoms of the deputies and senators, the procedure of legiferation, the fields reserved to the organic laws and other aspects concerning the legislative power.
Within the chapter II-nd of this title are included the regulations concerning the "President of Romania" who is elected, likewise, by universal, equal, direct, secret and freely expressed vote, for 4 years, as well as the powers' incompatibilities, imunity and the resposibility of the Head of the State.
The Government is regulated by Chapter III-rd, which includes norms concerning the structure, investiture based on the vote of confidence granted by the Parliament, the incopatibility and the acts thereof. A special chapter is established for the relationships between the Parliament and the Government, like the parliamentary specific regim pattern, regulating the obligation to inform the Parliament, the right of the members of Parliament to question and interpelation, the assumption of the Government responsibility, the motion of censure, the legislative delegation.
Chapter V-th, denominated "Public Administration" regulates the central speciality public administration and local public administration, the latter on the grounds of the local autonomy.
The last chapter, the VI-th, has as subject the "Judicial Authority". The provisions of this chapter are structured in three sections concerning the courts, the Public Ministry and the Superior Council of Magistracy, which reflects the new conception of the Constitution upon the judicial power.
A special title (IV), denominated "Economy and public finance" includes the norms referring to the economy, property, financial system, the national public budget, the fees and taxes, the Court of Audit.
The Title V-th, the Constitutional Court, regulates the constitutional control of the law, following the European model, for the first time accepted by our country and the title VI-th, "Revision of the Constitution", regulates the initiative of the revision, its procedure and limits, expressing the stiffly character of the Constitution.
The final title, denominated "Final and Transitory Provisions" , includes rules referring to the coming into force of the Constitution, the temporary conflict of the law, the current and the future institutions.
Under the new Constitution the legislative system developed, in respect of its successful transformations, according to the exigencies of the transition period, towards a free, open, pluralist and democratic society.