President Radev Refers Certain Health Act Revisions to Constitutional Court

President Radev Refers Certain Health Act Revisions to Constitutional Court

Sofia, May 14 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev has referred to the
Constitutional Court certain texts of the amended Health Act
concerning the coronavirus situation which he argues go against
the Constitution, Radev's press secretariat said on Thursday. On
 Wednesday Radev decreed the promulgation of the amendments,
with the arguments that the social and economic support for
citizens and businesses affected by the crisis should not be

The Health Act was amended conclusively on May 12. The
Government-proposed revisions regulate epidemic-control measures
 and other actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which
are to take effect after the state of emergency lapsed on May

One of the disputed provision is the announcement of an
emergency epidemic situation. Radev argues that having the
Council of Ministers as the body which announces an emergency
epidemic situation contravenes the Constitution. Furthermore,
the law does not specify expressly the duration of such an

Radev also says that the amended act allows restrictions of
fundamental rights without providing for timeframes of the

Radev further disputes the criteria set out in the law on whose
basis the chief state health inspectors may assess that an
immediate danger is present to human lives and health requiring
the introduction of an emergency epidemic situation. According
to Radev, the assessment is being formalized and reduced to a
preliminary list of findings without regard how this affects
people's lives and health. In his opinion, the formalization of
the criteria allows for an unjustified broad scope to restrict
fundamental rights.

The next thing that according to Radev contravenes the
Constitution is the absence of a requirement regarding a term of
 validity of the orders introducing anti-epidemic measures which
 the Health Minister may issue during an emergency epidemic
situation. Radev points that such anti-epidemic measures may
restrict constitutional rights, e.g., banning foreign nationals
from entering Bulgaria, temporary restrictions of movement
within the country, temporary restrictions of the operations of
facilities of public significance, or other such facilities or
services. The President notes that the restrictions of such
essential rights without a legal time limit makes them into
permanent restrictions imposed at the discretion of the
executive power. NV/ZH

Source: Sofia