Parliament activity, February 9-13, 2004
16 February 2004
During the aforesaid period the debates in Parliament were quite politicised. During the two days of plenary session Communist faction and opposition exchanged numerous accusations. However, the most controversial debates accompanied the draft laws submitted by the opposition that the majority faction refused to endorse, and vice versa submitted by the Government and majority faction that were severely criticised by opposition, criticism not taken into consideration by the ruling party.
Another source of discontent was the initiative to suspend the immunity of Christian-Democrat deputies accused of staging protest rallies and being under investigation. The three deputies: Vlad Cubreacov, Stefan Secareanu and Valentin Chilat did not attend the hearings of the Legal Commission for Appointments and Immunities and were therefore summoned to the plenary session. Citing some procedure irregularities the three left the plenary session, followed later on by the deputies of the "Braghis Alliance". As a result, Communists accused the latter for endorsing "profane actions" of the state symbols of the Russian Federation. "Braghis Alliance" leader responded that he did not support illegal actions and that he did not want to be a part of the "show put on by Communists and Christian-Democrats". Finally, the Parliament decided to suspend the immunity of the three deputies with the vote of 69 Communist and independent deputies. The three shall be liable for staging illegal protest rallies at the Russian Embassy, National TV and for unauthorised protests throughout downtown. As Christian-Democrats' leader, Iurie Rosca was not in the country, Prosecutor General adjourned the examination of the request to suspend his immunity.
Despite the harsh debates, Parliament examined a number of legal acts that would be given a thorough consideration bellow.
I. Law on the modification of the Law on Government
ADEPT Comment: The law provides for the reorganisation of the Ministry of Environment, Constructions and Territory Planning into two separate structures:
- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources;
- Department for Constructions and Territory Planning.
The debates on the law continued for two days, great many opposition deputies but also Communist ones criticised the initiative on the grounds it was too expensive and useless. The law was passed only after deputies received assurances that no additional staff or funding would be required.
Noteworthy, during a recent meeting at the Ministry, President Voronin dubbed it as a "monster" failing handle all the tasks it was entrusted. Immediately afterwards Gheorghe Duca was elected Chair of the Academy of Science. However, prior to that President criticised the Academy as well, threatening to take actions unless some meaningful changes happened.
There is yet another explanation to the deputies' criticism: as long as Gheorghe Duca, former member of the Democratic Party and "Braghis Alliance", headed the ministry no criticism at all had been expressed, whereas immediately he secured a safe position in another institution the ministry was subject to large-scale reorganisation.
II. Law on debt transferring
ADEPT Comment: Parliament decided to transfer the debts incurred by the "East electric networks" state enterprise to its creditor, "Energoreparatie" state enterprise. The debt worth 750 thousand Lei was incurred as a result of certain normative acts that cancelled the debts of agricultural enterprises. It would be covered from the state budget by compensating the taxes that the creditor was due. Noteworthy, the creditor does not have any fiscal relations with the Republic of Moldova as it was subordinated to Tiraspol.
III. Law on the modification of the Labour Code
ADEPT Comment: Under the modifications the provision obliging employers applying for licensing to have a prior permission of the work protection bodies, was excluded. The Government lobbied the amendment with a goal to reduce the number of legal acts required for licensing and thereby boost small business.
IV. Resolution on 645-th anniversary of the Moldovan state
ADEPT Comment: It was decided to celebrate the 645th anniversary of the Moldovan state via numerous events at the national and local level, which is of paramount importance for the "steadiness of the Moldovan nation. The document does not specify on the territory where the celebrations are to be held, between Prut and Dniester or on the whole area known as Moldova. The decision was passed in order to consolidate "multinational Moldovan" society, accelerate the restoration of the territorial integrity, and Moldova's affirmation in European community. The document does not provide any clear mechanisms for pursuing the said goals.
Noteworthy, 2004 was declared the year of Stefan the Great - 500 anniversary of his death. The anniversary would also be celebrated in Romania. To as to avoid any confusion, Republic of Moldova decided to mark another event - 645th anniversary of the Moldovan state.
V. Laws on the ratification of international acts
ADEPT Comment: Parliament ratified a number of international acts:
1. Agreement on free trade between Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. One of the opinions expressed during the debates was that the Agreement would damage domestic producers, as the market would be flooded with cheap Ukrainian goods. Government replied that it would never happen and that the agreement would open Ukrainian market for Moldovan goods.
2. Resolution of the CIS Governmental Council on the remuneration in the community bodies. The document provides for a wage increase to the officials working in the CIS structures so as to adjust them to the general living standards. Republic of Moldova would not contribute towards the wages of the military and security forces given its status.
3. Status of the Intra-European Organisation of Fiscal Administrations. The organisation promotes co-operation and exchange of experience between fiscal authorities of the member countries.
VI. Draft law on the modification of the Law on state tax
ADEPT Comment: The draft passed in the first reading provides for establishing a state tax for using official or historic name of the state on the brand of the product or service. For the brands already in use the tax would represent 1% of the brand value as recorded in the balance sheet, and in case of first time application - 10% of the brand market value.
VII. Draft law on the modification of the Law on Administrative Adjudication
ADEPT Comment: The amendments provide that in case Administrative Court finds that the matter does not fall within its competence it should decline its competence.