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Roughly speaking, article 49.3 of the French constitution allows the government to pass a law without an explicit vote in the legislative assembly by "committing government's responsibility". The procedure is that the law passes without a vote unless a motion of no confidence in the government is adopted (by vote in the assembly) within a certain (fairly short) time frame.

If I'm not mistaken, the Romanian constitution has a similar provision in its article 114, and the constitution of Moldavia also has one like that in its article 106a. E.g. the latter reads:

Article 106a. Assumption of responsibility by the Government

(1) The Government may assume responsibility before the Parliament upon a programme of activity, a general policy statement, or a draft law.

(2) The Government shall be dismissed if a motion of censure, tabled within 3 days following the date of submission of the programme, general policy statement, or the draft law, has been passed in terms under Article 106.

(3) In the event, the Government has not been dismissed pursuant to paragraph (2), the lodged draft law shall be considered adopted, and the programme or the general policy statement shall become mandatory upon the Government.

Have any other countries adopted a similar constitutional provision?


N.B. the French article 49.3 was amended in 2008 to narrow it somewhat (limiting the number of its uses per parliamentary session), and there was also a a big power struggle in Romania in 2010 surrounding their version, with their Constitutional Court having to step in several times, but I'm not sure what came of the latter in terms of constitutional changes, if any. It seems their Constitutional Court basically hemmed in the use of article 114 to emergency circumstances. (I've asked a separate question about that.)

Also, an attempt to genericize or frame 49.3 in comparative studies was to call it the "guillotine variant of the confidence vote." The "guillotine" term is used to refer to some debate-limiting motions in the UK parliament, but that's where the similarity stops.

The similarity in more general terms of the Romanian constitution with the French one has been remarked by scholars.

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    My guess is that this is pretty rare in most healthy democracies. The only situation I can remember where something like this could happen is by activating a State of Emergency which is a fairly common article(s) in any constitution. Nonetheless even a state of emergency typically requires parliamentary approval and certain conditions to be activated. – armatita Apr 18 at 13:37

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