On hypothetical dissolution of Parliament

In 2016, the latest amendments were made in the Constitution of the Azerbaijani Republic. A new Article # 981 appeared under the title «Dissolution of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijani Republi». Under part I of the Article, the Parliament of the Azerbaijani Republic may be dissolved by the President of the Azerbaijani Republic if Milli Majlis:

а) twice a year expresses distrust to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijani Republic;

б) fails to assign a required number of candidates for ensuring collegial activity in statutory period after two-to-one representation by the President of the Azerbaijani Republic:

i. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijani Republic

ii. or Supreme Court of the Azerbaijani Republic

iii. or Board of the Central Bank of the Azerbaijani Republic;

в) fails to discharge its constitutional duties for reasons unenforceable to get removed.

The point to be emphasized is that the Parliament of the Azerbaijani Republic has never expressed distrust to the Cabinet of Ministers. Also, there have never been cases where the Parliament failed to assign a required number of candidates for the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court or Board of the Central Bank.

At the same time, one cannot say that Milli Majlis failed to fulfill its legislative functions – on December 2 the Chairman of the Parliament proudly declared that this convocation adopted 1600 laws and resolutions.

On November 28, 2019 the political council of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP) passed a decision to recommend party members-deputies of the Parliament to initiate dissolving Milli Majlis.

On December 2, 2019 Milli Majlis whose absolute majority is made of YAP members passed a resolution «On Appeal to the President of the Azerbaijani Republic on Calling of Early Elections to Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijani Republic ».

A document that requests the head of the state to dissolve the Parliament and call early elections is based on the grounds that there is a determination of most deputies to stymie its further activity, so it’d be appropriate to reelect deputies. In this respect, Milli Majlis cannot lag behind large-scale institutional and cadre reforms and must rebuild its activity.

The resolution was published and took effect in keeping with Article 98 of the Constitution on December 3, 2019. However, it did not hurt the fact that on December 2 the President submitted a request to the Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijani Republic on constitutionality of the said resolution of Milli Majlis. In turn, the Constitutional Court with its 7 days in stock for decision-making released it for implementation to the Plenum of the Constitutional Court. A session of the Plenum is scheduled to take place on December 4, 2019 while under Article 60.3 of the Law of the Azerbaijani Republic «On Constitutional Court», its sitting could start within 60 days from the date of request acceptance.

It is worth reminding that the question is about a request on the resolution that had no force and effect at the date of Chamber sitting.

Few doubts about a decision of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court especially bearing in mind that the Court Chamber did not wait the parliamentary resolution’s coming into effect. At any rate, there are no legal grounds for Milli Majlis’ dissolution as set forth in Article 981 of the constitution:

а) Parliament has never expressed incredulity to the Cabinet of Ministers;

б) there were no cases where no required number of candidates was specified to ensure collegial activity of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Board of the Central Bank;

в) supreme government body has revealed no complaints on Milli Majlis work, vetoing laws, etc. So it’d be rather difficult to insist that the Parliament fails to perform its constitutional duties.

Its work was disrupted under no circumstances; no deputies’ credentials were suspended which could lead to failure in Milli Majlis’ further activity.

Given the above resolution, no deputies resigned to stonewall Parliamentary sessions. Moreover, last Friday the Parliament approved the country’s government budget, passed above hundred amendments to the Tax Code and finally elected an Ombudsperson. Following the adoption of the said Resolution, the Chairman proudly declared that this convocation of Milli Majlis had adopted approx. 1600 laws and acts.

If a Plenum of the Constitutional Court decides on dissolution of the Parliament, that’ll have a disastrous impact on activities of law-enforcement bodies: if an authorized structure may voluntarily interpret constitutional provisions in defiance of spirit and letter of the Constitution but in line with will of powers that be. So, it’d be impossible to speak about any certainty, clarity and predictability of laws.

 

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