Parliament Activity Review July 22-26, 2002
August 6, 2002
In the mentioned period the Parliament agenda included more than 30 legislative acts, some of which of extreme importance to the country. None of the acts was examined in a single reading; all of them were adopted in the final reading.
I. Law on the Audiovisual Public Institution
ADEPT comment: The adoption of the law was accompanied by various events and turn-ups; and this not only because of the Council of Europe resolution. The fact that three draft laws were examined is very meaningful in itself.
The Christian-Democrats' draft was rejected from the very beginning on the grounds that it hadn't been sent for the expertise of the Council of Europe. The Braghis Alliance faction proffered the draft developed by the Association of Electronic Press (APEL).
Initially, the Parliament Commission recommended adopting the draft developed by the Presidency as the basic version. During the debates though, Braghis Alliance faction claimed that the draft they had submitted was far better according to the European Council expert. After consultations, the majority faction agreed to adopt APEL's draft as the basic one, whereas the Presidency's draft as an alternative one.
The Parliamentary Commission recommended the deputies to operate several modifications to the APEL draft, in particular with regard to the membership and election of the Governing Council, provisions which are to be taken from the Presidency draft. Rejecting the said modifications Braghis Alliance withdrew their draft.
This sudden turn-up of situation offered a great advantage to the Communist faction, which unanimously voted the draft proffered by the Presidency, accepting only few modifications suggested by the Government and the Communist deputies.
In conclusion, both parties promoted their own positions and both failed to reach a compromise. Thus, the draft, which was more acceptable to the governing, has been adopted.
II. Law on completing the Law on the State Budget for Year 2002 and canceling the debts of "Teleradio-Moldova" State Company
ADEPT comment: Before proceeding to the reorganization of the said company, the Parliament took care of canceling its debts to the state budget, namely 15 million Lei. Noteworthy, neither the ruling party nor the opposition insisted on controlling why the company incurred such a debt. The only explanation provided was that those debts would hinder the company's activity in the future.
III. Law on the modification and completion of legal acts in the field of education
ADEPT comment: Under the modifications, the Minister of Education will hold the exclusive right to appoint and oust the headmasters of state institutions, lyceums, and heads of county education departments.
In their turn, the heads of the education departments will be entitled to appoint and oust headmasters of the kindergartens, primary schools, gymnasium, professional, art and sports schools. The law is aimed to set clear cut procedure on appointing headmasters. However, many criticized it for excessive centralization of the institutions and schools.
IV. Law on the modification and completion of legal acts referring to publishing drafts of official decisions
ADEPT comment: The law provides that the Permanent Bureau of the Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Moldova may decide to publish draft acts ex officio or at the request. Furthermore, they also are entitled to decide on the method of public debates of the draft legal and normative acts and on the examination of the submitted recommendations.
As the law doesn't specify the subjects entitled to ask for the publication of the draft acts, one may claim that the adoption of the law is a step towards increased transparency of the public institutions.
V. Law on entrusting the Government to issue ordinances
ADEPT comment: Once Republic of Moldova turned to the parliamentary regime, several amendments were operated in the Constitution providing for delegation of certain legislative prerogatives to the Government. However, for the third year the Parliament adopts laws to allow the Government to issue ordinances. During the last three years the Government issued only two ordinances, one is still in force and another one, on pre-custom inspection was abrogated by the Parliament at the end of 2000.
This time, the Parliament limited the areas on which the Government may issue ordinances from 8 to 4, on the grounds that organic laws regulate some of the said areas and the Constitution does not allow for such delegation.
VI. Law on the modification of legislative acts on organization and participation in public rallies
ADEPT comment: In order to have a quite fall, the Parliament introduced additional provisions to the Code on Offences and set sanctions for involving children in political rallies. Furthermore, the deputies would have to meet additional requirements whenever they host reunions or public rallies. Needless the say, this spring opposition has exploited the provisions allowing them to host reunions with the voters when staging the protest rallies.
VII. Law on the ratification of the Agreement on development credit
ADEPT comment: The law ratifies the Agreement on a $10 million credit granted by the Agency for International Development to the Republic of Moldova to support rural investment and services. The credit is granted for a 40 years period, with a 1-year grace period and a 0.75% interest rate.
The credit is provided for:
- Rural services provision;
- Rural entrepreneurship;
- Rural financing;
- Project administration.
The implementation of the Agreement shall be monitored quarterly, so as to avoid fraud and misspending.
VIII. Law on the modification and completion of legislative acts in the field of bookkeeping
ADEPT comment: Under the law, legal and natural entities, state funded institutions, notaries and lawyers are obliged to comply with the bookkeeping standards and submit fiscal and statistics reports to the relevant bodies. Furthermore, the law provides for obligatory inventory upon certain cases.
IX. Law on the refugee status
ADEPT comment: The law provides for the legal, economic, social and organizational aspect of granting a refugee status in the Republic of Moldova. The law provides for:
- Notions of refugee, political refugee, etc.
- Principles applied: non-discrimination, confidentiality, unity of family, protection of children, etc.
- Competencies of the relevant public officers.
- Procedure for examining refugee applications.
- Cease of the refugee status.
- Cooperation with international organizations in the field.
X. Law on the modification and completion of legislative acts on the production and sale of munitions
ADEPT comment: We have already dwelled on the issue in the Legislative Commentary of 2001. The haste in passing the law points to the great interests in liberalizing munitions trade. The authors of the draft explained the need to liberalize the munitions market by the need to comply with the legislation on monopoly and loyal competition. Another argument is the Constitutional provisions on free market, free enterprise and loyal competition.
One may conclude that whenever businesses under their control are at stake, representatives of the majority faction forget about the need to protect the state interests and about state control over some strategic areas such as national security.
XI. Law on Free Economic Zone "Ungheni-Business"
ADEPT comment: This law has drawn the public attention in particular because it provides for the inauguration of a Free Economic Zone at the time another one is closed in Chisinau. The latter was closed on the grounds that the activity of such entities is questionable and that enterprising functioning on its territory commit a lot of frauds by exploiting the permissive legislation. We shall closely monitor the report issued by the Court of Accounts to see what would be the impact of the newly established Economic Zone in the Republic of Moldova's economy.
XII. Resolution on control over the enforcement of the legal provisions
ADEPT comment: Under the resolution, the enforcement of the Law on Frontier and Law on Minorities by the public officers is declared as unsatisfactory, whereas the Government is entrusted to take urgent measures to improve the current state of affairs.
Noteworthy, the governing is very much concerned about the faulty enforcement of the legislation by the public officers, fact confirmed in the speech of the President Voronin in Parliament when he referred to the necessity to perfect the mechanism of overseeing the enforcement of the laws passed.