Parliament activity, May 3-7, 2004
13 May 2004
During the aforesaid period only one plenary session was held. It followed the already traditional scenario: at the beginning of the session Christian Democrats block the central tribune, Parliament Speaker calls them to order and demands compliance with the Regulation by threatening to impose sanctions. Later on the agenda is strictly followed with deputes speaking from the other microphones.
This week Parliament finally decided to proceed amending the Parliament Regulation so as to provide for sanctions to the deputies thwarting plenary sessions.
I. Law on the modification of the Law on Local Public Administration
ADEPT Comment: The law provides that privatisation and other auxiliary activities shall fall within the competence of rayon public administration. Given that territorial agencies of the Privatization Department were shut down, their functions have been delegated to rayon (municipal) local public administration. Therefore, selling plots, real estate in state property shall be the prerogative of local authorities. There area also exemptions from the law, specifically in Chisinau and Balti municipality and Gagauz Autonomy the aforesaid functions shall be exercised by the branches of the Privatisation Department.
The law is a major step in ensuring local autonomy, however it would raise many problems, especially given the lack of resources and qualified personnel among local authorities.
II. Law on the ratification of the Protocol on free railway tickets for veterans
ADEPT Comment: Parliament ratified the Protocol on enforcing the Resolution of the Council of the CIS Chief of States that entitled WWII veterans to a free railway ride once per year. The Protocol also enables veterans to choose a 50% discount on maritime or airfare. Noteworthy, on the eve on May 9, airlines announced a 50% discount to veterans and accompanying persons.
III. Law on modification of the Law on Budgetary System and Process
ADEPT Comment: Under the law funds administrators shall be responsible for executing writs of execution issued by courts, namely in the case of local and central authorities - their heads, whereas in case of debts to the central budget - Ministry of Finance via State Treasury. The amendments are aimed at bolstering the responsibility of funds administrators that sometimes refrain from enforcing writs of execution affecting them leaving it in the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.
IV. Law on the modification of legal acts on social protection of citizens affected by the Cernobil accident
ADEPT Comment: The law increases monthly allocations to 100 Lei for the following: spouses incapable to work of those who took part in liquidating accident consequences and died; children up to 18 of deceased participants in liquidation; one of the parents unable to work of the deceased participants in liquidation; first degree disabled unable to work as a result of the accident, etc.
V. Law on modification of legal acts on declaring and control of the income of public officers
ADEPT Comment: The law distinguishes on the status of various categories of public officers and state officials. Also the law obliges officials to declare their income and estate, the failure to do so being sanctioned. The law extends the list of persons obliged to declare their income and estate to include elected bodies, heads of various central or local control bodies and law enforcement bodies. The minimal amount of goods to be declared is set at 50 thousand Lei. The law also perfected the mechanism of checking the declarations.
Noteworthy, on July 19, 2002 Parliament passed the Law no.1264-XV on declaring and control over the income and assets of state dignitaries, judges, prosecutors, public officer and high rank officials. Later on the law was amended, however still little is known about its enforcement.
VI. Law on the modification of legal acts on the free economic zones
ADEPT Comment: The law provides for:
- enlarging the territory of the Free Economic Zone Expo-Business Chisinau, to include a 27 ha plot belonging to "Tracom" joint stock company;
- establishing a sub-zone as part of the FEZ "Ungheni-Business". It will be located at the "Covoare-Ungheni" joint stock venture, and seek to attract investments and boost manufacturing output (establish a joint carpet manufacturing enterprise). Noteworthy, as of now, the companies' debts amount to 40 m Lei.
VII. Draft law on the modification of the Parliament Regulation
ADEPT Comment: Draft passed in the first reading includes a series of provisions on sanctions for deputies breaching plenary session's procedures. In particular, in cases when a deputy continues to violate the Regulation after he/she was called to order, the Chair of the session would refuse him/her the floor, however if the deputy still insists, the Parliament would decide on his/her removal from the hall.
In case the sanctioned deputy refuses to leave the Parliament hall, the Parliament would apply a sanction - interdiction to attend plenary session for up to 10 sessions. State Protection and Defence Service shall ensure the enforcement of the sanctioning decision.
It also proposes that throughout the sanctioning period, deputies shall not be entitled to compensation, except for indemnities and per diems to cover for transportation and rent expenses.
The sanction may be lifted any time at the initiative of the Parliament Chair or any parliament faction, or at the written or public request of the sanctioned deputy acknowledging that he/she was wrong and pledging to abide Parliament Regulation and order.