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Activity of Parliament, 10-14 May 2004
20 May 2004
On Monday, 10 May, the first TV show in the cycle The Hour of Parliament was broadcast. At the show, the Speaker answered questions from the moderator and the viewers. The show focused on relations between the opposition and the ruling party.
Over the same period the official visit to Italy of the Moldovan MPs delegation headed by the Speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc took place. During the visit, the Moldovan delegation met with the heads of both chambers of the Italian Parliament, the Italian Minister of Labour and Social Protection, other officials, as well as with Moldovan citizens working in Italy.
During the plenary meetings of the Parliament, the People's Christian Democratic Party (PCDP) continued to block the central tribune and insist that information be published on public money spending. This made the Speaker deprived the PCDP deputies of the right to take the floor throughout the entire session. The parliamentary majority has not yet examined in the second reading the draft providing for sanctions such as expulsion from the sitting room and prohibition from the plenary meetings of those deputies who breach the regulations.
The following drafts examined and adopted by Parliament over the period of reference may be mentioned:
I. Law on Amending the Law on Judicial Organisation
ADEPT Comment: This law has increased the number of judges in the Botanica District Court, Chisinau Municipality. The respective court investigates more cases than other district courts, including due to the fact that the central administration institutions are located within the area covered by this court as well as a series of law enforcing institutions. The opposition press often mentions the fact that this court is controlled by the power, since most of the cases opened against mass media representatives at this court have been won by government structures and government representatives.
II. Law on the Exemption of Monument Construction Works from the VAT
ADEPT Comment: The law provides for the exemption from the value added tax (VAT) of works of technical expertise, planning, design, construction and restoration financed from donations by physical and legal entities. The list of eligible objects is to be approved by the Parliament.
III. Law on Additions to the Law on State Security
ADEPT Comment: The amendment added to threats to state security the cases of organised crime and corruption, which are likely to undermine state security.
These cases are regarded as particularly dangerous. Respectively, one can presuppose that in such cases the investigation will be carried out by the state security bodies.
According to these provisions, the following represents major challenges to state security:
- Actions aimed at changing through violence the constitutional regime, undermine or suppress the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the state;
- Activity that contributes, directly or indirectly, to military actions against the state or leads to civil war;
- Military actions and other violent actions that undermine the foundations of the state;
- Actions conducive to emergencies in transports, telecommunications, the activity of economic and other vital sites;
- Espionage, transmittal of information regarded as state secrets to other states, as well as obtaining or illegally owing information that is regarded as state secret with a view to turn it over to other foreign states or anticonstitutional structures;
- Treason by assisting other states in carrying out activities against the Republic of Moldova;
- Activities that are aimed at usurping power through violence from the legally elected public authorities;
- Activities likely to harm the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and thereby endanger the security of the state;
- The preparation and deployment of terrorist acts, attempts against the lives, health and inviolability of top officials, state officials and leading public figures of other states residing in the Republic of Moldova;
- Theft of weapons, munitions, arms, explosives, toxic substances, etc., smuggling in these, production, use, transportation and storage thereof, where interests of state security are harmed;
- Setting up or taking part in the work of organisations or illegal groupings that endanger the state security.
IV. Law on the Amendment of the Law on Preparing Citizens for Defence of the Motherland
ADEPT Comment: The amendment added provisions that allow students at private higher and secondary education institutions to defer their service in the army. Current laws allows this only to state and accredited higher education institutions.
V. Draft Law on Amending the Law on Declaring the Winemaking Factory of Cricova National Patrimony
ADEPT Comment: The draft law adopted in the first reading provides that a series of objects are to be excluded from the public patrimony. It is proposed that the status of national patrimony be withheld by the following:
- Stone galleries from Cricova where the underground factories producing classical sparkling wines, banded wines and collection wines are located, as well as the tasting rooms;
- The buildings and adjacent terrain of the sparkling wine making factories;
- Collection wines of cultural and historical value.
VI. Draft on Cancelling the Penalties and Sanctions Applied on the Diaries Factory in Leova
ADEPT Comment: The draft was adopted in the first reading and is a legislative initiative by the deputy Antonina Baldovici (elected in the Leova district). It provides for cancelling the penalties and sanctions worth 2 million Moldovan lei against the factory. The factory was privatised in 1994 and has accumulated the said debts to date, most of which originate in its failure to pay back a state loan.
Parliament decided in the first reading to cancel all penalties save for the interest rate calculated for the non-payment of the credit.
VII. Draft Law on Amending Legislation on Customs
ADEPT Comment: The adopted law provides for the following additions:
- Customs duties paid for goods in active perfecting customs regime, on which duties are being applied, are to be reimbursed within no more than 30 days of the end of the regime.
- The regime of active perfecting is the regime whereby foreign goods are subjected to operations of transformation or procession in the customs area, without measures of economic measures being applied, and with the restitution of charged rights of import, except for the fee on customs procedures and the special fee where the resulting products are taken out of the customs territory.