Parliament Activity during 2-6 June 2003
9 June 2003
During this period, one single plenary session was held, following which the Parliament left for the summer break until 13 June 2003. At the session on 5 June, the Parliament examined a considerable number of legislative acts, including some of great importance.
I. Law on the Application of the Code of Civil Procedure
ADEPT Comment: On 30 May, the Parliament adopted the new Code of Civil Procedure, and the above law provides that the new Code's entry into force on 12 June 2003. The law also provides that as of the same date the old Code of Civil Procedure, approved through the Law of the SSR of Moldova on 26 December 1964, will be abrogated, all amendments and additions included, except for the regulations on the execution of court rulings, which will be applicable until the adoption of the new Code on the Execution of Court Rulings. The law also stipulates that the civil cases under investigation as of 12 June 2003 will be examined by the relevant bodies according to the procedures envisioned in the new Code of Civil Procedure.
In the same context, we would like to note that, pursuant to a law adopted recently by the Parliament, on 12 June 2003, the new Code of Criminal Procedure will enter into force, and the enforcement of the new codes of procedure will form the legal basis for the enforcement of the new criminal and civil codes, adopted by the Parliament in 2002.
II. Law on the Amendment of the Law on the Social Protection of Invalids and War Veterans
ADEPT Comment: This amendment provides for the inclusion of individuals who worked as civilian employees in the army during the WW2 in the category of individuals eligible for additional financial allowances. The annual cost of this law is estimated at 350,000 lei.
Although intended to enhance social protection of vulnerable people, the various amendments providing for additional social benefits and additional beneficiaries have been launched and approved during the electoral period. This can be explained through the desire to stimulate the turnout of the most disciplined electorate - the pensioners and veterans, as well as to influence their votes in favour of the current government who has been very active lately in raising these voters' social benefits.
At the same time, the adoption of new budget expenses prompts concern among the international financial bodies, which have repeatedly warned against the lack of real sources to fund these populist initiatives, especially that foreign funding has not been approved yet.
Experts say the government should also take account of the fact that once raised, it will be difficult to lower the value of social allowances and aid, for, pursuant to constitutional norms, a right that is gained may not be reversed or diminished save in exceptional circumstances.
III. Law on Compensating the Difference in Payments for Electricity and Gaz by Residents of Some Settlements on the Left Bank of Dniestr River
ADEPT Comment: Through this law, the locality Copanca has been added to the list of villages whose residents are eligible for compensation of the differnece in payments. Earlier, via the Law no 1435 of 7 November 2002, the Parliament ruled that by the time the consequences of the Transdnistrian conflict are removed, nominal compensations will be paid to residents of villages (communes) Cocieri, Pirita, Cosnita, Dorotcaia and Molovata Noua, situated on the left bank of Dniestr River, to cover the difference between the fees on electricity and gas approved by the National Agency for the Regulation of Energy of Moldova and those fixed by the administration in Tiraspol.
The compensations shall be paid on a monthly basis:
The payment of compensations to beneficiaries will be made through the budgets of respective villages (communes) from the state budget transfers of special destination.
- for electricity, according to the data shown on meters, but not for more than 60 kWh per meter per month;
- for natural gas:
- used to heat houses and for cooking, from individual sources, according to the data shown on meters, but not for more than 300 cubic meters per month per family, during the heating period (5 months);
- used by gas stoves, 8 cubic meters of gas per month per family, during the rest of the year (7 months).
IV. Law on the Amendment and Completion of the Law on 2003 State Budget
ADEPT Comment: Via this law, the Parliament has decided to allocate 3 million lei to fund the functioning of 44 state notaries, which are to be established following the new law on notaries. It is expected that the same amount will be earned into the state budget by the notaries who will have the status of remunerated state employees.
It needs to be noted that the issue of increasing budgetary expenditure related to the application of the new law on notaries was raised when the law was adopted. Moreover, additional budget spending in exchange for some expected revenues is problematic given that the income raised by state notaries will be much below that of private notaries. In the long run, this could compromise the very idea of establishing state notaries.
V. Decision on the Appointment of Some Judges to the Supreme Court of Justice
ADEPT Comment: Via this decision, at the proposal of the Supreme Council of Magistrates, the Parliament decided to appoint to the Supreme Court of Justice some judges who had previously worked with the Court of Appeals, which is to be abolished soon pursuant to the reform of the judicial system. According to the amendments operated earlier by the Parliament, the judges of the Court of Appeals are to be either promoted to the Supreme Court of Justice or maintained at the new Court of Appeals that is to be created following the re-organisation of the Tribunal of the Chisinau Municipality.
VI. Law on Amending the Law on Citizenship
ADEPT Comment: Via this law the Parliament adopted the amendments to the Law on Citizenship intended to bring it in line with the constitutional provisions that had abolished the interdiction to hold double or multiple citizenship. Thus, the law establishes expressly that the acquisition by a Moldovan citizen of the citizenship of another state does not involve losing the Moldovan citizenship.
The law also provides that the individuals who had previously held Moldovan citizenship may recover it and at the same time retain their current foreign citizenship.
VII. Law on the Amendment of the Law on Education, adopted in the first reading
ADEPT Comment: The proposed amendments refer to the following:
- lyceum education will be organised into: a) theoretical lyceums with one or several specialisation and b) secondary schools;
- the specialised secondary education will be carried out in secondary schools, for a duration of two to four years, and will provide training in applicative professions. Eligible for secondary schools will be graduates of gymnasiums, general schools and lyceums.
- the diploma of specialised secondary education will grant the right to work and carry on education at higher education institutions, where the duration of studies will be one year shorter through the equivalalation of subjects studied at secondary schools.
- teachers in specialised secondary schools will be: - social teachers at student halls of residence; - crafts-instructors; - psychologists; - methodists and teachers in specialised secondary education.
This draft has aroused controversial debates among the opposition and the parliamentary majority.