Parliament activity, February 16-20, 2004
23 February 2004
This week Parliament focussed on the relationship between power and opposition, as well as ruling party policy on the major problems in society.
At February 19 session Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed MPs on the efforts undertaken in view of European integration. The recently appointed Minister delivered a 15-minute report reviewing the current state of affairs, though refraining from outlining the perspective of future talks with EU on the individual action plan. A brief Q&A session followed, Communist deputies only clarified certain aspects, whereas opposition deputies inquired to what extend had Moldova complied with the European Parliament resolutions. Parliament failed to reach a consensus on how to proceed further with regard to issues debated, and discussions were ended in 30 minutes.
Deputies also examined a number of legal acts, some of which will be considered in detail below.
I. Law on the modification of legal acts regulating pharmaceutical industry
ADEPT Comment: The law is forbidding the sale or exchange of medications among wholesalers. Also medications and drugs are to be only imported directly from producers or their authorised dealers.
Boosting pharmaceutical industry has been on Government agenda before. And this because only 3% of the drugs and medications available on the market are produced domestically. While the imports are soaring, domestic industry is still weak and unprofitable. It is worth mentioning that Government annulled the contract on the privatisation of the largest domestic manufacturer "Eurofarmaco". As a result invested capital had to be returned, which made the business un-profitable for quite a while.
II. Law on the ratification of the Stokholm Convention on persistent organic polluters
ADEPT Comment: Convention is aimed at protecting peoples' health and environment against organic pollution. A number of provisions refer to the funds needed to enforce the convention. Lawmakers argued that no additional funds would be necessary to enforce the law, as countries in transition are exempted from membership fees.
Noteworthy, previously NATO provided financial support to the Republic of Moldova to process the dangerous substances stocked on its soil.
III. Resolutions on appointing Senior General Prosecutor and confirming Prosecution College
ADEPT Comment: Parliament appointed Valeriu Gurbulea as Senior Deputy to the Prosecutor General, previously Secretary of the Supreme Security Council of the Moldovan Presidency. Previously opposition press and civil society organisations accused Mr. Gurbulea of wielding heavy influence on the law enforcement forces and corruption. They asked the President either to oust him or provide evidence to the fact that Gurbule was innocent, however the President remained tight-lipped on the subject.
Parliament passed a resolution and confirming the membership of the General Prosecution College, keeping only Alexandru Stoianoglo (former Prosecutor of Gagauz Yeri) and Nicolae Oprea as Senior Prosecutors among its new membership. New members joined the College, namely:
- Prosecutor of Gagauz Yeri (pursuant to the Law on the Legal Status of Gagauz Yeri Autonomy);
- Prosecutor of Balti Municipality;
- Chief of the specialised department on penal proceedings within General Prosecution;
- Chief of specialised department on penal proceedings within Ministry of Internal Affairs;
- Prosecutor of Botanica district in Chisinau Municipality.
IV. Draft law on modifying and completing the Law on Real Estate Registry
ADEPT Comment: The draft submitted by the Government changes the procedure of registering the real estate. The law provides for access to estate data-bases hold by the legal bodies and local public administration. The draft also provides that the tariffs on services provided by real estate bodies are to be approved by Government, so as to ensure enough funds and also observe the interests of vulnerable strata of the population.
V. Draft resolutions on suspending the immunity of deputies in Parliament
ADEPT Comment: Parliament majority decided to suspend the immunity and sent to court three Christian-Democrat deputies: Iurie Rosca, Vlad Cubreacov and Stefan Secareanu. They are persecuted for staging unauthorised protest rallies and profaning Russian Federation symbols (i.e. burning the flag and the portrait of President Putin).
In addition, Prosecutor General requested Parliament to suspend the immunity of "Braghis Alliance" Nicolae Malachi, accused of illegal privatisation of a resort on Black Sea, thereby incurring a 200 thousand Lei loss to the state budget. According to Prosecutor General, Mr. Malachi struck the said murky bargains at the time he hold a high rank position in county administration.
The resolutions were voted in the absence of opposition deputies. Christian-Democrat leader severely criticised majority faction for the policies it was pursuing.