Parliament Activity, July 1-4, 2003
8 July 2003
On the eve of the session the leader of the "Social-Democratic Alliance" stated that the respective parliament fraction would boycott the Parliament plenary meetings, as a protest against the non-performance of the previous demands, relating to the reinstating in job positions of the persons who had collected signatures for the initiation of the republican legislative referendum on changing the election system.
Some of the analysts consider that the aggravation of relations between the opposition fraction and communist majority is determined by the complicated situation, created in the local power frames of Chisinau municipality, as the General Mayor refuses to accept the communist candidatures, and the communists, in their turn, refuse to vote for the candidates, proposed by the Electoral Bloc "Social-Liberal Alliance Our Moldova" for the positions of vice-mayors and county chiefs. The respective supposition seems to be grounded enough, taking into account that PCDP refuses to form a coalition with the representatives of the pro-Urechean Bloc and the fact that, in the majority of the districts, CPRM holds the second-level power and has managed to create post-elections coalitions with the presumed social-liberal allies, all these led to reciprocal political accusations, both at the level of territorial organizations and on part of the leaders of some centrist or left-centered parties.
In the absence of the social-democrats, the discussions in the Parliament were carried on between the representatives of CPRM and PCDP, who examined a series of important legislative draft Laws, some of them being voted for in unison.
I. Decision on Participation of the National Army military men in actions of humanitarian character in Iraq
ADEPT Comment: By the respective decision it was approved that military men, taken in the RM National Army service on a contract-basis (especially doctors, sappers and infantrymen) can participate in humanitarian actions in Iraq; with the equipment, technical facilities and individual arms from the military endowment. It was also approved that National Army transportation airships can be used to participate in the respective actions.
In this context, it can be presumed that the issue of Moldova military men detachment has been previously coordinated with the USA Military Department, responsible for the administration of Iraq and for the decisions who can be accepted to participate in respective actions. It is worth mentioning that USA much easier accepts to this process the ex-soviet and ex-socialist countries (for ex. - Poland), than UN or European developed countries representatives, this fact showing that not all of the problems with the NATO Partners have been completely overcome.
It should be noted that the Republic of Moldova would be interested to participate in humanitarian operations (though it could be quite difficult to distinguish between these operations and military ones; in which case a direct constitutional conflict could arise) not only to demonstrate the desire to contribute to the international security.
We can suppose that, as a result of the mentioned actions, Moldova National Army will be rewarded in equipment and, possibly, even financially as, usually, participation in missions of this kind, results in certain material benefits.
II. Law on Private Detecting-Security Activity
ADEPT Comment: The adopted by the Parliament Law will substitute the existing Law on non-state detecting-security activity, which was adopted as long ago as the beginning of 1994.
The new Law will take over the majority of the previous provisions, but it also contains a compartment on private guard activity. It stipulates that a security private organization (SPO) is a commercial enterprise, organized to provide services to protect life, health and property of physical and legal entities. The SPO can develop its activity only if it is registered by the State Register Chamber, has an adequate license and the authorization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Law contains separate regulations relating to physical protection of persons - body guard, and stipulates that this activity can be effectuated only on the basis of a concluded with the PGO contract in written form, in the frames of which the person in charge with this service should act.
Referring to security private organizations activities, a series of restrictions are established, these dealing with:
- Features of the respective physical entity: Moldovan citizenship, minimal age of 21 years old; no penal antecedents; adequate certifying etc.
- Features of the legal entity: possession of corresponding Quality and Standard Certificates; Police Authorities references; authorization of the MIA etc.
Some of the experts expressed their opinion saying that the new Law was needed for a MIA plenary control on SPO activity; the majority of restriction conditions being imposed because of the interest of MIA that this type of activity is in coordination or collaboration with the MIA bodies. This supposition is based on the well-known fact of the existing practice, when the majority of SPO founders are ex-collaborators of Force bodies and are assuring their ulterior activity and necessary legal protection still during their professional activity in the mentioned Force bodies.
On the other hand, the justice bodies plenary control on SPO activity could shutter the penetration of persons who are on bad terms with the rule of laws and who otherwise have easy access to information, to special technical equipment and even fire arms (registered as belonging to legal entities but, in reality, being in the possession of not very well-verified physical persons).
III. Law on the Amendment of the Fiscal Code
ADEPT Comment: By the respective Law, the Parliament established a series of tax facilities for enterprises with foreign capital.
So, in cases when foreign investments constitute more than USD 250 000 of the enterprise social capital, the given enterprise is exempted from the payment of 50% of income tax for a 5-year period, on the condition that 50% of the enterprise gross revenue is constituted by selling goods (services) of own production, and at least 80% of the exempted tax is invested in the enterprise development.
In cases when foreign investments constitute more than USD 1 000 000 of the enterprise social capital, the given enterprise is totally exempted from the income tax payment for a 3-year period, on the condition that at least 80% of the exempted tax is invested in the enterprise development or in state (regional) programs of national economy development.
An additional, imposed by the Law, condition is that mentioned enterprises should not have debts to the state budget and have to conclude a special Agreement with State Fiscal Inspectorate.
IV. The Decision on the Parliamentary Advocates Appointment
ADEPT Comment: The Parliament appointed two parliamentary advocates: Mr. Iurie Perevoznic (candidature proposed by the President of RM) and Mrs. Raisa Apolschii (candidature of the RM Government). At the same meeting there was rejected the proposal to renew the mandate of the parliamentary advocate Alexei Potinga, who during a 5-year period held also the position of Director of the Center of Human Rights ( presently Mrs. R. Apolschii is appointed to hold the upper-mentioned position; previously she was a judge in the Court and more recently - advocate at the Chisinau Municipality Bar),
It is worth mentioning that last year the Parliament untimely dismissed the parliamentary advocate Constantin Lazar, under the pretext of his absence from job without leave.
Previously both C. Lazar and A. Potinga have made statements criticising certain actions of the Power, they also doubted the economic and social success of the country, fact that caused the discontent of the parliamentary majority.
V. The Law on the Military Force Statute, Adopted in the First Reading
ADEPT Comment: The draft Law envisages the stipulation of the entry, temporary stationing, transit and withdrawal of foreign military forces to/ from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, in conformity with the international agreements to which our country is part.
The draft envisages defining some specific notions as:
- military force;
- civil component;
- sending state;
- common activities;
- temporary admission etc.
A separate statement bans the development of any political activity by foreign military forces or their civil components on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.
Provisions are stipulated, according to which the military forces and their civil components are not submitted to the existent visa and entry-exit regimes.
The Law also contains a series of provisions relating to:
- carrying and possession of arms;
- granting the security during troops movement;
- jurisdiction competence;
- responsibility for the caused damage;
- management of military encampments;
- employment of local labor force etc.
The principal problem linked with the Law is art. 11 of the Constitution stipulating that "the Republic of Moldova does not admit the distribution of other states military troops on its territory".
An additional problem, mentioned by the representatives of the parliamentary opposition, is the presence of a contingent of foreign military troops on the Nistru left-bank territory of Moldova. The new Law could allow the legalization of the temporary admission of these troops, in case of a concluded bilateral agreement between Moldova and the Russian Federation, and this would mean a new encroachment upon the RM independency and the upper-mentioned constitutional norms.
VI. The Law on the Amendment of the Law on Energy, adopted in the first reading
ADEPT Comment: The Law draft, presented by the Ministry of Finance, envisages the financing of the state energy supervision organ from the money resources contained in the electric power tariffs.
According to the opinion of a number of deputies, this amendment could determine an additional increase of electric power tariffs; the parliamentary majority by no means would accept such a thing, as the social and political impact of this action would be severe and difficult to recoup.
VII. The Draft Law on VAT Exemption of Gas Meters
ADEPT Comment: It is proposed the VAT exemption for the gas meters, imported into the country in conformity with the Agreement on Loan, concluded with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
According to the opinion of the authors, this exemption would lead to a decrease of gas meters price, meaning that they would be more accessible to the consumers. At the same time, a number of deputies expressed their opinion that the importing firms would include VAT in the price of the meters, so that the consumers would have to pay this tax, and the state budget would lose considerable sums of money.