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Moldovan Constitutional Court dismisses enquiry about constitutionality of banning St. George ribbon
CHISINAU. May 6 (Interfax) – The Moldovan Constitutional Court has dismissed an enquiry about the constitutionality of the ban on using the St. George ribbon in Moldova, the court press service said on Friday.
"The authors of this enquiry have failed to provide a sufficient, convincing explanation of their demand that the amendment, which includes the use of the black-orange ribbon and other symbols in the Code of Administrative Offenses, be cancelled," the court said.
The Constitutional Court ruling is final and cannot be appealed.
Earlier this week, deputies of the bloc of communist and socialist parties Adrian Lebedinschi and Grigore Novac asked the Constitutional Court to exercise constitutional control and to suspend the implementation of the bill amending the Code of Administrative Offenses, which penalizes the use of the St. George ribbon and some other symbols.
The bill amending the Code of Administrative Offenses was adopted by the parliamentary majority on April 14. A violation of the ban is penalized with a fine of 4,500 to 9,000 lei (($250-$500) or 30 to 60 hours of community service for individuals, and a fine of 9,000 to 18,000 lei ($500 – $1,000) for entities and state officials. A violation needs to be recorded by the police.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu said after the law was adopted that it did not ban celebrations of the May 9 holiday.
The Russian embassy to Moldova said, for its part, "The authorities’ ban on using the St. George ribbon is hindering progress to peace and friendship."
Last week, the People’s Assembly of the Gagauz Autonomous Region in southern Moldova allowed using the St. George ribbon in its territory. The Moldovan government office appealed the decision made by the Gagauz parliament. On May 5, the Appeal Chamber of Comrat, the administrative center of Gagauzia, suspended the decision of the People’s Assembly and said that local authorities had no right to overrule laws enforced by the central government.