Activity of the Parliament on April 18-22, 2005
28 April 2005
The parliament held a special sitting in this period and examined the governing programme and entire list of the cabinet of ministers, unveiled by the nominee prime minister. Representatives of all the parliamentary factions spoke out after presentation of the programme, with most of them criticizing the activity of the precedent executive and proposed programme. None of lawmakers voted the cabinet, except for the Communist faction, though the proposed programme comprised ideas and promises from electoral programmes of parties which succeeded to the Parliament. Experts highlight that the situation is clear in case of the majority opposition faction, Our Moldova Alliance, since it participated neither in election of speaker, nor of the chief of state. As for representatives of the "constructive" opposition, they did not vote because of being afraid to assume responsibility for governing, rather than for not getting any post in the cabinet. This way, the factions representing the Christian Democratic People's Party and Democratic Party of Moldova reserved the right to criticize the executive's activity and to use critical messages in the future electoral campaigns for the Chisinau City Hall and for general local elections after two years. On the other hand, the election of the chief of state, creation of political alliances aimed to promote the policy on internal consolidation and European integration of the country already mean responsibility for governing, while justification of refusal to give the trust vote through absence of some proposed ad-hoc chapters seems not to be based on objective criteria.
Anyway, the executive was invested in office, and only the post of first deputy prime minister remains vacant in the new cabinet, a situation similar to the one registered in 2001, when the president appointed Communist parliamentarian Vasile Iovv to this office.
Beside political issues, the Parliament examined several draft laws which remained from the precedent period, with some of them raising a certain interest.
I. Law for modification of the Penal Code
Commentary by ADEPT: At present, Article 264 of the Penal Code stipulates the "imprudent causing of serious material damages" as part of offence. Taking into account the cost of transportation units and parts for them, the material damage resulted after traffic accidents is larger than the big damages (10,000 lei) in most of cases. Police bodies have to file penal cases, though the damage is covered.
Also, Article 124 of the Code of Administrative Contraventions stipulates punishment for "violation of traffic rules by motorists, so that the transportation means were seriously deteriorated."
The Parliament decided to exclude this sentence from the Penal Code, decriminalising the actions which will be object of civil, insurance relations, and of Contraventional Code in future.
II. Draft law on status of military
Commentary by ADEPT: The law adopted by the Parliament in the first lecture aims to ensure the necessary legislative framework for an uniform regulation of general aspects of rights and obligations, juridical and social protection, military service of the Armed Forces military. Also, the law will indicate the aspects related to social and juridical protection of military and members of their families, citizens who attend military training.
The law will cover the military who serve in the Armed Forces; reserve military of the Armed Forces; members of families of serving military.
The law will indicate the key aspects of rights and general obligations of military; financial rights for military employed on basis of a contract; employment in military service through a contract; appointment and dismissal of military through a contract; transfer of military; mode of awarding, retrograding and restoration of military rankings; relief from military service, etc.
The law proposes new notions: enrollment of citizens on basis of a contract; conditions for awarding of military rankings to military employed through a contract; monthly pay of military employed through a contract; offences which discredit the title of military of Armed Forces, etc.
III. Draft law for modification of legislative documents on empowerment of the Labour Inspection with sanctioning rights and competences
Commentary by ADEPT: The draft adopted in the first lecture after controversial debates proposes higher sanctions for violation of labour protection legislation and introduction of a new article in the Code of Administrative Contraventions - violation of legislation on employment and social protection of job seekers.
Also, the law proposes to empower the Labour Inspection with the right to examine administrative contraventions related to labour protection.
The government motivated the need to adopt this law through the fact that inspectors registered more than 42,000 violations of different legal provisions in 2004, while most of them envisage:
- use of labour force without an individual labour contract stipulated by legislation;
- violation of legal work time;
- employment with a lower salary than the minimum pay stipulated by legislation;
- failure to pay compensations;
- salary arrears for two and more months;
- employment of people without professional training and training in labour protection matters;
- use of improvised work equipment without protection devices.
Statistics also confirm the complicated situation in this sector, as about 600 salary earners are hurt a year because of violation of different normative documents on labour protection (40-50 persons are hurt to death). About 20,000 salary earners are employed under work conditions which unfit the hygienic and sanitary norms. As many as 1,527 high ranking officials received administrative sanctions for violation of labour legislation and other normative documents in seven months of 2004.
The current size of administrative sanctions for violations does not direct to respect for labour law norms. Thus, it was established after repeated controls that the business respected the legislation nor after receiving administrative sanctions. Higher administrative fines and empowerment of the Labour Inspection with the right to apply them were proposed from these reasons.
Many lawmakers opposed this draft, warning that the existing practice of continued sanctioning does not have efficient results, with controls being abusive in most of cases or finishing with extortion of facilities for inspectors.
IV. Draft law on higher sanctions for violation of legislation on sale of alcohol production
Commentary by ADEPT: The draft adopted in the first lecture calls for severer administrative sanctions for violation of legislation in this sector and introduction of sanctions for sale of alcohol drinks in rooms without necessary equipment and conditions for storage and sale; in booths, pavilions, and other trade facilities which do not have a commercial space of at least 20 square metres; in educational, medical institutions; in hostels for students and schoolchildren; in enterprises and building and repairing sites; in commercial enterprises near kindergartens and educational institutions for children; in sport buildings and their adjacent fields; in coffee houses for children; trade facilities for children and teenagers; in headquarters of public authorities, except for public food facilities; near religious buildings; in cemeteries; penitentiaries, military units; in public transportation enterprises;
Violation of these restrictions will bring fines of 200-300 minimum salaries for citizens and 500-800 minimum salaries for functionaries, while the products which represent the object of contravention will be confiscated.