Parliament Activity, 6-10 October, 2003
13 October 2003
The Parliament convened only once during the aforesaid period, however it was sufficient to observe the growing political confrontation within the legislative body. Thus, opposition came up with a draft declaration on the failure of the Russian Federation to comply with the resolutions of the Istambul and Porto OSCE Summits, and insisted on its examination during the plenary session. At the initiative of the Chair of the Parliament the issue was subject to voting, however it failed to gather a majority vote. Nonetheless, the draft declaration was made public at the end of the plenary session and it would be probably reexamined later on by the Parliament. Experts believe opposition intentionally comes up with initiatives that they know, far too well, ruling party would not endorse for either objective or subjective reasons. Definitely, behind the recent protest rallies in front of the Russian embassy, criticism of the Russia's stance in the negotiations on Transdnistrian conflict, lie some hidden motives, i.e. probing political issues subject to debates in the upcoming electoral campaign. Ruling party, on the other hand, adopted an awaiting strategy, nevertheless it resorted to the same strategy, however with a different goal in mind - resolving the Transdnistrian conflict at any price, by the upcoming elections. One may expect new info on the negotiation process to be released, in particular the draft of the joint statement of the conflicting parties on the principles of regulating the constitutional status of the breakaway region.
Besides major political problems, the Parliament examined several important drafts, and we will refer to some of them in greater detail below.
I. Law on Ratification of the Agreement on mutual protection and promotion of investments, concluded between the Republic of Moldova and Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
ADEPT Comment: The Agreement was concluded for a ten year period in view of boosting economic cooperation on the mutually acceptable terms. Among others the Agreement refers to:
- promoting and protecting investments;
- applying national and favored nation approach;
- nationalization and expropriation;
- compensation for losses, transfers, etc.
The Agreement also provides for the settlement of disputes between the contractual parties, etc.
II. Law on Modification and Completion of the Law on Imprisonment on Suspicion
ADEPT Comment: The modifications exclude the provisions allowing for compelled feeding of detainees. Compelled feeding is viewed as a kind of torture, as it is done against the will of the detainee. Furthermore, coercion methods involved upon compelled feeding sometimes are rather violent and besides the moral pain sometimes produce physical pain. However, the law allows for compelled feeding in cases when detainee's life is under threat.
III. Draft law on the state informational resources
ADEPT Comment: The draft establishes ground rules and terms for developing the infrastructure of informational resources in the Republic of Moldova, juridical matters in the use of IT, systems and networks.
The law does not apply to mass media, non-governmental IT, and undocumented data processing. It also defines some basic notions, such as: data base; electronic document; national domain,md; informatization; owner of the informational resources, information systems; information process; information product; communication network; information service; informational support; IT; subject of law, etc.
The law determines the subjects of law within its competence:
- documented information;
- information resources, including national domain,md;
- software and hardware;
- information systems and networks, etc.
The law clarifies the notions used as well as establishes rules for handling different types of data and ensuring the security of information systems. Basic information resources include among others:
- State registry of the population;
- State registry of the legal entities;
- National Informational Geographic System.
Under the law, Information Technology Department shall be the sole body entitled to establish and use state information resources. This provision is likely to raise a lot of questions as, at the moment the said Department already holds a monopoly on state information resources; and it is likely to position the Department far better than other state bodies working in the field.
IV. Draft law on modifying the Regulation on settling matters related to the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Moldova
ADEPT Comment: One of the most important modifications abolishes certain Government competencies in authorizing changes in the borders of the administrative-territorial units, in creating or dissolution of such units. As it stands at the moment, the situation is rather unclear, on the one hand any changes in the administrative-territorial borders are the sole competence of the Parliament upon prior consultation of the citizens, and on the other, under the Regulation it is the sole competence of the Government.
A string of problems may surface upon the enforcement of the said modification. In particular excluding the Government from the decision making, and leaving it in the sole competence of the Parliament, i.e. political, is not the best option since the Parliament is more guided by political interests rather than social and economic considerations.
V. Draft law on modifying and completing the Law on Publishing Activity
ADEPT Comment: Via those modifications Moldovan law is brought in accordance with international law norms. Certain aspects are to be clarified: notions, competencies of the Ministry of Culture, copyright, and protecting publishing rights. A separate article shall regulate the activity of the National Book Chamber and its data bases, which are the sole property of the state.
VI. Draft law on canceling the penalties imposed for the failure to transfer on time state social insurance contributions
ADEPT Comment: Under the modification, penalties incurred by 29 companies that had paid all the arrears to the social security budget are cancelled. The total amount of cancelled penalties is estimated at 1.7 million MDL, whereas the arrears paid by the companies at 5.8 million MDL.
Noteworthy, the list of companies include also state institutions and local public administration, namely: Statistics and Sociology Department; General Finance Department of Chisinau Municipality; General Security Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, etc.