Parliament activity, December 8-12, 2003
18 December 2003
I. Law on rectifying the Law on State Budget for Year 2003
ADEPT Comment: Via the amendments certain adjustments in the redistribution of revenues and expenses in the state budget were made. Noteworthy, the total amount thereof was not changed (this year budget provides for a profit of 300 million), neither was the 600 million loan from the National Bank. If it were not for the latter, next year's budget deficit would have been 300 million.
II. Law on the modification of the Law on Public Service
ADEPT Comment: The law stipulates that the Councillor of the Supreme Court of Justice Chairperson shall hold a I degree in the public service hierarchy, whereas the consultants, experts of the Court apparatus shall hold a II degree. Therefore, the status of Court officers was equalled to that of Government, Parliament and Presidency. The main reason for such modifications were to observe the constitutional principle thereby powers are equal, and therefore public servants working in each of them should be equal as well.
Noteworthy, prior to the adoption an estimation of the cost of the law was demanded, however neither the authors nor the Government provided such an estimate, which may serve enough grounds for contesting its constitutionality.
III. Law on exempting state road administration from paying the money necessary for compensating the losses incurred due to the exclusion of certain plots from the agricultural fund
ADEPT Comment: The Parliament decided to exempt the state road administration from paying the amount of 7 million lei due in the compensation fund for the losses incurred due to the exclusion from agricultural use of the plots whereby Ukrainka - Tokuz road is being build, with access to Zviozdocika locality. Noteworthy, it wasn't mentioned during the hearings whether local authorities on whose plots the road is to be built and who would have had extra-budget funds if the compensations were to be paid, were consulted or not on that matter.
IV. Law on the modification of the Law on Local Public Administration
ADEPT Comment: Under the Law on the modification of the Law on Local Public Administration issues on local council agenda shall be examined only if endorsed by the specialised commission, or the mayoralty and decentralised public service. In certain cases, at the initiative of 1/3 of the councillors, the council shall examine the aforesaid issues without the appropriate endorsements. This amendment was made in order to allow the council to pass decisions in cases when specialised commissions would not be able or be willing to do so for political or economic reasons.
V. Law on the ratification of the status of the Nuclear Research Institution
ADEPT Comment: Nuclear Research Institution is an international intergovernmental research organisation based in Dubna, Russian Federation, established in 1956. Republic of Moldova applied for membership in 1992. The membership is important for several reasons:
- Assistance is provided to the Academy of Science of the Republic of Moldova (in conducting theoretical and applied research and in training specialists);
- Moldovan scientists would have access to modern equipment in the international radiobiology and radio-medicine centres and to their data bases.
Previously, Republic of Moldova's debts accrued in 1992-2000 (around 2 million Dollars) were cancelled. In 2004-2008 Republic of Moldova annual quota would range between 20.000-25.000 USD.
VI. Draft law on the modification of the law on the fingerprint registration
ADEPT Comment: The draft approved by the Parliament in the first reading provides for the binding fingerprint recording to be stipulated in the laws on carabineer troops, fiscal service, customs service, Information and Security Service, Centre for Fighting Economic Crimes and Corruption.
The issues raised a lot of controversy since many opposition and even majority faction deputies claimed that it breaches human rights. In response deputies were informed that they had already approved fingerprint recording back in 2002 in the Law on the Fingerprint Registration. Another argument in favour of accepting the modifications was the fact that in France all the citizens are obliged to go through fingerprint recording.
Noteworthy, under the new regulations of the US Embassy to Moldova any person applying for a US visa would have his/her fingerprints recorded.
VII. Draft law on the modification of the legislation on the production and circulation of alcohol products
ADEPT Comment: The law introduces new provisions to the Law on the production and circulation of ethylic alcohol and alcohol products, in particular stricter requirements on testing the alcohol in the specialized laboratories of the customs; recalling the license without the right of renewal for at least 3 years for sale of forfeited alcohol; forbidding the sale of alcohol beverages in the stores smaller than 20 square meters, etc. The law also introduces a number of sanctions for the sale of alcohol products without invoices, denying the access of control bodies to the production or retail facilities; sale the products without documents attesting their origin.
VIII. Draft law on the modification of the Law on Enforcement of the Penal Code
ADEPT Comment: The draft cancels the obligation to introduce a new form of punishment - community work, which was supposed to be enforced as of January 1, 2004. In addition the draft includes a set of modifications which would allow Ministry of Justice to organize certain territorial districts were the method would be put to a test. This last provision raised a lot of debates as it would mean a differentiated enforcement of the law in the country and depending of the place where the sentence is pronounced. For the very same crime different sentences would have been given, which runs counter to the law.