Parliament Activity, 5-9 May 2003
12 May 2003
On 9 May 2003 the Republic of Moldova celebrated the Day of Victory and Commemoration of the victims of fascism. The entire last week saw a number of events at which the WW2 Veterans were given homage and expressed gratitude in a variety of forms: at concerts, cultural events, premiers, financial assistance and gifts. On this occasion, the Government decided to grant one off allowances worth 100 MDL to the veterans, and the Parliament adopted the Law on Veterans. Also, the Parliament adopted a series of other important laws, and we will refer to some of them in greater detail below.
I. Law on Veterans.
ADEPT Comment: Over the past years the Parliament has examined several draft laws on veterans, all of which had more of a populist character and lacked financial feasibility. In consequence, the drafts did not receive green light from the Government and did not get adopted by the Parliament. The last draft law was developed by the Government and its application was possible as the funds involved had been previously provided for in the budget reserves. The draft divides the veterans into several categories:
1. War veterans: individuals who took part in WW2, military actions on the soil of other states, military actions for the defence of the territorial integrity of Moldova, as well as those who served in the active army forces or in the army or worked behind the front lines and were given awards and medals of the ex-USSR for good work and impeccable service during the WW2.
It is to be noted that this category also includes the veterans of the Romanian army who took part in the WW2, both until 1944, and after Romania left the fascist coalition. This legal solution should end discussions on this issue and the political implications thereof, and should thus conciliate all those who during the WW2 did their duty according to the official policy of the state at that historic time.
2. Labour Veterans: individuals who have worked for more than 40 years and have been given excellence in labour awards and medals of the ex-USSR or Moldova.
Several deputies advocated the idea that labour veterans be considered all individuals who have worked for more than 40 years, regardless of whether they have been given awards or not. If this idea were to be accepted, the law would have lost its point and lacked the funds to satisfy more than 500,000 such individuals.
3. Veterans of Military Service: military of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova and the former USSR awarded medals, awards or honorary titles, and who have served for more than 20 calendar years.
4. Veterans of internal affairs bodies. The law provides for a series of facilities and benefits for a number of categories of veterans, most of which are to be funded from local budgets (in particular the benefits related to the free use of public transport and reductions in payments for services).
Additionally, the law includes provisions stipulating for monthly allowances for the veterans who have been awarded medals, awards and honorary titles (of the ex-USSR and Moldova). Thus, every individual qualified to this category will receive a monthly increment of 25 MDL (for those holding honorary titles) or 50 MDL (for award and medal holders).
This law was adopted in its final reading on 8 May, on the eve of the Victory Day. This, along with the allocation of the 100 allowance, have been used supposedly by the authorities as a propaganda tool. In this sense, we would like to remind that on 3 May 2001, the Parliament adopted the Law on Additional Social Protection Measures for WW2 Veterans, whereby the latter were to be added 200 and 400 MDL to their monthly pensions.
II. Law on the Reorganisation of the System of Courts.
ADEPT Comment: This law was intended to apply the constitutional norms on the reorganisation of the courts system and modify and complete other existing laws: the Law on the Status of Judges, the Law on the Supreme Court of Justice, the Law on the Superior Council of Magistrates, the Law on the Qualification College and Licensing of Judges, Law on the System of Economic and Military Courts etc.According to the provisions adopted by the Parliament, the reorganised courts system will start functioning on 12 June 2003, and by 1 June 2003 the Superior Council of Magistrates is to submit proposals to Parliament and President on which judges to be promoted to superior bodies and which ones to be dismissed.
It is to be reminded that the opposition has already warned that under the pretext of the proposed reform, the current government will undertake a second wave of cleansing the personnel in the judiciary, whereby some "uncomfortable" individuals will be either downgraded or even fired.
III. Law on the Ratification of the CIS Convention on International Transports of Passengers and Luggage.
ADEPT Comment: The Convention regulates the conditions and rules of passenger and luggage transports, the ways of formulating and examining the complaints related to such transports and the methods of organisation and control of transports of passengers and luggage by vehicles (buses).
The Conventions includes detailed provisions on the rights and obligations of travellers and drivers, and defines the general notions used in the field of international passenger transports.
IV. Law on the Ratification of the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
ADEPT Comment: The agreement covers the free trade in industrial and agricultural goods, as well as:
- the gradual abolishment of import customs taxes;
- the moratorium on the introduction of new export taxes;
- the elimination of technical barriers to trade;
- safeguards and security measures etc.
V. Law on the Amendment and Completion of the Law on the Court of Accounts.
ADEPT Comment: The draft of this law was prepared by the President of the Republic of Moldova, who regarded as inopportune a series of provisions whereby additional powers were attributed to the Court of Accounts. In particular, the objections of the President envisaged the need to exclude the following provisions:
- on the control of the commercial banks involved in serving the public budget;
- on the control of the activity of the central and local public administration authorities with regard to the efficiency of using public resources;
- on the operative control and the free choice of the types of control that the Court of Accounts can do;
- on the execution by the Court of Accounts of in situ controls etc.
The deputies adopted integrally the objections of the President, although when the draft was initially adopted, the parliamentary majority fought harshly the arguments of the opposition, who saw a series of provisions unconstitutional and likely to be rejected by the head of state.