Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VI, issue 128, 16–30 November 2008
Activity of Public Institutions
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Legislative acts
Law on state secret. The document sets up the legal framework on protection of the state secret with the purpose to ensure the interests and/or security of the Republic of Moldova. The national system of protecting the state secret covers all bodies in charge with protecting the state secret, methods and means used to protect secret state information and material carriers of state secrets, as well as actions taken in this area.
Note by ADEPT: Many local and international nongovernmental organisations have earlier signalled some imperfect regulations of this draft capable to affect the transparency of public information.
Law on hemotransfusional security. It regulates social relations of blood donors, donors of blood components, self-providing of the hemotransfusional service with blood components and their efficient use; norms to ensure the quality and security of donation, processing and use of blood and blood components.
Law on modification and completion of some legislative acts on remuneration. Under amendments, economic units and social partners will enjoy more autonomy in organising the remuneration of employees, depending on their financial possibilities, by partly renouncing to the current tariff wage system. Economic units in the real sector will apply for the organisation of tariff and/or non-tariff remuneration systems, with the employer being allowed to make a choice after consulting representatives of employees.
Law on ratification of the Anti-Doping Convention and Additional Protocol. The convention aims to guarantee a good conduct of sport competitions and protect the health of participants by promoting cooperation between member states with the view to prevent the doping in sport.
Draft law concerning the Chamber of Auditors. It aims to readjust the legislation on management of public funds to international finance audit standards, and to improve the activity of the Chamber of Auditors. The key purpose of the draft is to introduce the external public audit instead of the financial control. It stipulates a new procedure of election of members of the Chamber of Auditors.
Draft law on modification of the Penal Code. Under amendments, penalties for crimes will be reduced, with the maximum detention term being reduced from 25 years down to 20 years, and the life-term detention could be replaced by a 35-year jail term. According to the Ministry of Justice (draft developer), the goal of these amendments is to reduce the number of inmates in prisons. The draft was worked out at the initiative of Moldovan President, who recommended the optimisation of the penal penalty system a year ago.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
Head of the Audiovisual Coordinating Council (ACC) has answered an interpellation on conformity of the broadcast "In profunzime" attended by Vasile Botnaru and Igor Botan and aired by the TV channel PRO TV with the legislation and Electoral Code. ACC said that the information and comments on surveys cannot be described as electoral propaganda and the Audiovisual Code does not regulate the broadcasting of electoral advertising or electoral propaganda during TV and radio broadcasts aired before or after the electoral campaign and, therefore, it does not stipulate any sanction.
The Ministry of Economy and Trade has informed about the execution of the Chamber of Auditors’
Decision concerning the report on the control on management of public patrimony and actions taken by the ministry: it changed the management of some enterprises; accepted some investments; opened legal proceedings; improves the internal audit, etc.
Representatives of the AMN factions have presented interpellations which:
- Asks the Government to provide information about a letter by Moldovan president in which he demands the modification of regulations on ritual services, asks if the modifications concerned were coordinated with the Metropolitan Church of Moldova.
Note by ADEPT: Presidential and governmental press services have denied the existence of such a written instruction, without providing details. Further, the prosecutor’s office has started an investigation concerning "the use of forged documents by S. Urechean";
- Signals that the activity of some law enforcement bodies is being politicised, invoking an explanatory letter addressed by a police officer to Moldovan President;
- Demands information about economic interests of a PCRM legislator who protects some private businesses which violate the legislation;
- Seeks information about a criminal or operative case filed vs. journalist Lorena Bogza, who allegedly allows operative investigative actions (fading out, interception of communications and correspondence);
- Demands information about legality of privatisation of enterprises subordinated to Moldova-Film.
Legislator Valentina Cusnir has asked the Government to provide information regarding the execution of the law on restitution of estates to former victims of communist repressions and existing problems in this field.
Parliamentarian Dumitru Braghis has asked the Government to inform about the approximately 150,000 vacancies available in Moldova at present.
Deputy Vladimir Filat has read a statement which asks the Parliament to abrogate the law which bans several categories of high-ranking functionaries to hold dual citizenship. He noted that the ECHR has recently decided that the law concerned violates the fundamental right of people to elect and to be elected and contravenes to international norms on discrimination.
Legislator Vitalia Pavlcenco has presented a statement in which she raises indignation that the public broadcaster Moldova-1 does not cover the electoral campaign for Romanian parliamentary elections.
The AMN faction has released statements signalling:
- A deplorable fight against corruption;
- Abuses by governance, which violates the constitutional rights of opposition legislators, local elected officials and citizens.
Parliamentarian Dumitru Braghis has read a statement revealing plans to revive and strengthen the Social Democratic Party (PSD) with the purpose to gain the 2009 elections. Braghis noted that PSD "will not discuss alliances with anybody" and it will further meet the willingness of electors only.
1 See opinions by TI Moldova, Acces-Info Centre, CAPC, Article 19 Organisation, etc.
2.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Following the meeting of the Supreme Security Council which discussed matters relating to the VAT payment and reimbursement, the Government has decided to dismiss Sergiu Puscuta, director of the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC), and Tatiana Loghin, head of the Main State Fiscal Inspectorate. Both functionaries were dismissed with the same formal formula "upon request". Further, Sergiu Burduja, former deputy director of the Information and Security Service, was appointed CCECC director.
Radu Caruta, former directorate chief in the Ministry of Local Public Administration, was assigned deputy minister of the same ministry.
Eugenia Chistruga, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration, was appointed Moldova’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe.
Lucia Gavrilita was assigned to advise the prime minister on social affairs.
Viorica Dumbraveanu was appointed deputy minister of social protection, family and child.
Radu Mudreac was assigned director-general of the sanitary-veterinary agency for safety of animal products.
Andrei Pogurschi was relieved from the office of deputy minister of interior affairs upon his demand.
Under governmental decisions:
- Ion Ababii was confirmed rector of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Nicolae Testimitanu";
- Veaceslav Manolachi was confirmed rector of the State University of Physical Education and Sport.
Decision concerning the National Council on Coordination of Regional Development. It approves the nominal composition of the Council, which is in charge with giving light to the national strategy on regional development; approving criteria for evaluating discrepancies in the regional development area and national regional development priorities; approving funding from the national regional development fund, etc.
Note by ADEPT: Under the law on regional development in Moldova, the composition of this council should be approved by the mid-April 2007.
Decision concerning the creation of the national council for combating crimes and corruption. The council is made of Deputy Premier Valentin Mejinschi, prosecutor-general, director of the Information and Security Service, minister of justice, minister of interior affairs, director-general of the Customs Service, director-general of the Border Guard Service, and chairperson of the Chamber of Auditors. The council will coordinate anti-corruption actions by law enforcement bodies, actions aimed to ensure the legality and respect for rights and freedoms of citizens, maintaining the public order, fighting against trafficking in human beings and preventing illegal migration. It will cooperate with nongovernmental organisations working in these areas. The Government considers that the formation of this council provides possibilities to coordinate, implement actions aimed at preventing and combating crimes and corruption, ensuring the continuity of ongoing plans, strategies and international agreements in this field.
Note by ADEPT: Under Parliament Decision # 421 from 16.12.2004, the coordination council for combating corruption and crimes created to advise the President of Moldova should coordinate the implementation of the national strategy on preventing and combating corruption and other actions in this area, but details about activity of this council were not provided since it was created under Presidential Decree # 57-III from 28.05.2001.
Decision on amalgamation of the heart surgery centre and cardiology institute. The institutions are amalgamated to save funds, and this measure will allow the diagnosing and treating of cardiovascular diseases in an integral institution.
Decisions approving some regulations:
- The regulation of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions;
- The regulation concerning the raising and using of funds to finance the constitution of the normative base in building sector;
- Tariffs for pay-for services provided by the Ministry of Finance and the regulation on use of these finances;
- The national plan on harmonisation of legislation for 2009.
Decision establishing the minimum contents of first health aid kits for motor vehicles. It approves the minimum utensils, medications of travel aid kits and obliges all motorists to have such kits in their cars starting February 2009.
Note by ADEPT: Experts note that the Government Decision does not stipulate any sanctions for the lack of medical kits or absence of some mandatory medications or equipment in the kits, so that motorists could breach the new regulations and traffic policemen could commit abuses.
Decisions approving some draft laws:
- Concerning the asylum in the Republic of Moldova;
- Concerning the Prosecutor’s Office;
- Concerning the copyright and related rights.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Meeting of the commission for elaborating the National Security Strategy
The meeting has approached expenses for completing the draft strategy and the related action plan. It was stated that the draft strategy will be consulted with the civil society and its objections will be taken into account. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration jointly with other public authorities involved will organise events (conferences, roundtables, seminars, presentations) with the participation of representatives of the academia, civil society and mass media.
Support to Compact Programme
Moldova’s prime minister and deputy manager of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding on providing support to launch the Compact Programme. The unreimbursable loan is worth about 12 million dollars and it will go to feasibility, technical, environment and social studies for investment projects on renovation of national roads and transition to modern agriculture.
Housing to young specialists from villages
About 600 young specialists who will work in budgetary institutions in rural areas accordingly to the assignment after graduation from educational institutions will be provided free housing. Sixty million lei was foreseen in the 2009 state budget to implement this programme. Beneficiaries of this programme will be young graduates from institutions of higher learning and post-graduation resident education working in villages in the area of education, healthcare, culture and social assistance. The housing will be provided for a 5-year term and young specialists will further become owners on the basis of donation contracts. The price of a residence will be around 100,000 lei and the beneficiary will not have to co-finance it.
Meeting with leaders of trade unions
Prime minister has met members of the Executive Bureau of the National Confederation of Trade Unions in Moldova, with participants pointing out issues to be discussed during an enlarged sitting in early December. Representatives of trade unions noticed stringent problems signalled within primary organisations; in particular, fiscal burden of salary earners; shadow economy; high tariffs for services; social protection in privatisation process; accidents at workplace; difficult situation in agriculture; eventual consequences of the world financial crisis on economy. The premier assured that actions of the cabinet of ministers will keep focussing on objectives of its programme announced at the beginning of the mandate and the Government will not make populist promises, while all decisions will be made after a preliminary in-depth analysis in order to be able to further implement them.
Repeated concerns with traffic security
A new sitting convoked by prime minister has decided to reconsider the regulation of the National Council for Traffic Security and to set up a working group to identify existing problems in preventing accidental situations, combating violations relating to traffic security and education of motorists and pedestrians. It was noted that the situation in this area is alarming so far, as 393 persons were killed and more than 3,030 were hurt in 2,449 traffic accidents in ten months of 2008. Prime minister indicated among urgent measures to be shortly taken the optimisation of activity of the Traffic Police, the revision of legislation which sanctions violations in the field, the revision of the process of education and certification of applicants for driver’s licence. Deputy Prime Minister Valentin Mejinschi will be in charge with this area and will head the National Council for Traffic Security.
Only 7 parties have their documents checked
According to a communication by the Ministry of Justice, only 7 out of 28 existing parties have complied with the new law on political parties and adjusted their constituting documents to new regulations. Another 7 sets of acts are being examined and one party was not registered statute-based modifications. The Ministry of Justice has plans to start checking documents of another 13 political parties to see if they correspond to the new law on parties. In the same communication the Ministry of Justice rejects accusations of obstructing the registration of political parties or changes in their statutes, assuring that it respects the legislation in effect and ensures the necessary transparency while considering applications for the registration of political parties or modifications in their statutes.
Note by ADEPT: According to a recent joint declaration, heads of EU Missions, the European Commission Delegation and the Office of the EU Special Representative have urged the Moldovan Ministry of Justice to assure that the procedures for registration of parties and political movements will be applied transparently, fairly and in the due time. The formal reaction of the Ministry of Justice to this declaration has raised bitter criticism by parliamentary opposition. To note that the study "Electoral Context-2009" which was recently released within the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections Coalitia-2009 has signalled trends to halt the registration/re-registration of political parties among major concerns with the electoral campaign and advised the Ministry of Justice to act in a tolerant and abuse-free manner in this process.
Andrei Neguta was recalled as Moldova’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe and appointed Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Moldova to the Russian Federation. At the same time, Neguta was awarded the diplomatic ranking of ambassador.
- The Ordinul Republicii (Order of the Republic) was awarded to Anatolie Popusoi, director-general of the Forestry Agency Moldsilva.
- The Ordinul de Onoare (Honour Order) was awarded to Vladimir Suetnov, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Bank Banca Sociala S.A.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Discontentment with CCECC activity
President of Moldova has introduced Sergiu Burduja, new director of the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption, to the centre staff. While meeting subdivision heads, the chief of state noted that tasks established when the CCECC was created were not fully completed, and the contribution of the centre to combating crimes is insignificant. Mr. Voronin stated that police methods predominate in the activity of CCECC, and the latter does not demonstrate initiative to improve the legal framework needed to prevent economic crimes and corruption, and it did not ensure the analytical activity and prevention of crimes. The state suffers losses because of the inefficient efforts by CCECC and, therefore, the flow chart of the centre shall be revised, the personnel shall be re-attested and the compulsory testing with a polygraph shall be introduced. The new CCECC director is in charge with implementing a complex of actions needed to ensure an effective functioning of the institution, accordingly to priorities set when it was created.
Construction and renovation of national and local roads
Vladimir Voronin has chaired a sitting on construction and renovation of national and local roads, which discussed issues related to the process of implementation of projects on rehabilitation of infrastructure of national roads and launching of new projects on modernisation of communications for 2009. According to an official press release, the sitting discussed in details every segment of road. In the context, the chief of state highlighted the necessity to make building enterprises respect high quality norms and standards in the field and noted that the business selection mechanism shall be more severe. It was also stressed that 1,000 kilometres of national roads will be renovated or built the next three years, accordingly to related international standards.
Internal growth vs. external consequences…
Authorities have recently stated that the economic growth for nine months of this year was 7.7 percent, though official statistics did not confirm these data yet. On the other hand, international institutions such as IMF, EBRD, and EIU commented the evolution of key economic indicators and some of them forecasted that the growth will slow down. However, the growth declared by governmental officials is somehow surprising, particularly after it has slowed down much in the last two years. The surprise is as bigger as accounts cover a period of the year when the agriculture, a key sector of Moldovan economy, was not covered much by estimates. However, despite last summer calamities, the agriculture had a great contribution to the GDP rise. The GDP has particularly grown due to the rise of public and private consumption, contribution by service sector, which exceeds 60 percent of the GDP, and incomes collected from taxes on goods, products and services (reports by the Ministry of Finance reveal that more than 60 percent of incomes collected to the state treasury are "extorted" from indirect taxes such as VAT, excises, customs fees).
However, many economists fear that the economic growth will slow down because of consequences of the economic crisis. But this would happen should the banking system face a crisis, which would challenge serious collateral damages to the real economy. The domestic banking system would unlikely face such a crisis in a predictable future, despite the high dollarisation and euroisation of loans. Also, there are important changes of relative prices of basic products (energy and some food products), rise of the cost of credit (in conditions of the international financial crisis), and this reduces the profit margins and may turn into a rout of costs. These shocks could be severe and companies would experience them and salaries would be under pressure. But it is hard to believe that all these factors could reduce the economic activity, so that to annul any economic growth.
As regards foreign deficits, a serious decline of remittances would reduce the imports and consumption. But this would not affect the internal consumption so much that to reduce it in absolute terms. Worse could be the effect of reduction of funding lines for some banks from Moldova, as well as the ceasing of crediting by foreign donors. But a drastic cutting is unlike anyway. The crediting pace would rather decrease gradually. There are more and more alarming allegations related to the immensity of the trade deficit and gravity of the current account deficit on one hand. But, on the other hand, the current account and other components of the balance of payments such as trade balance are structural and there is no problem in this regard as long as they are completed (mostly by remittances and partly by foreign direct investments). This may be an absolutely natural situation since the country has a surplus of currency and shall be redirected to origins, and the high value of imports is a proof in this regard, too. Even more, the structure of imports shall also be considered. Or, when 23 percent of imports are made of mineral products (including natural gas) which import prices have been increased more than twofold, and the trade deficit is normally growing fast. In addition, there are incontrollable factors such as the rise of prices of natural gas imported from Russia, which fuels external deficits.
Finally, rise paces of economic activity could decline. In the event the public budgetary execution is reasoned and funds from crediting institutions are spent on developing the infrastructure, the effects will be able to partly compensate the deterioration of the international environment, and this would maintain a growth pace of approximately 5–6 percent per year.
2. Real sector
Industrial production up by 2 percent only…
Moldovan industrial enterprises have made production worth about 24.5 billion lei (about 2.4 billion dollars) in January-October 2008, which is by 2 percent more than in the similar period of 2007. The general rise of production in the period concerned was particularly linked to the growth of production made by food and drink industry by about 8 percent, and production manufactured by the energy sector by 5 percent. Enterprises making wines, distilled spirits, sugar, dairy, processing and canning meat and meat products, manufacturing furniture, etc., had a special contribution to the rise of industrial production.
Enterprises working in metallurgical industry, manufacturing medications and drugs, dyes, engines, processing wood and manufacturing wood items, etc., have also increased their production. At the same time, the production volume of enterprises manufacturing footwear, paper and cardboard, processing and canning fruits and vegetables, making oils and greases, cigarettes, glass and items, etc., have reduced their production.
3. Currency and currency market
Treasury of central bank on the decline…
The official reserve assets of the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) have decreased by about 188.7 million dollars over the last three months, particularly due to the fluctuation of the exchange rate of reserve currencies, which were rather volatile in the last period. Fluctuations of rates had a significant influence on reserves in dollars among all other reserve currencies.
According to an NBM communication, the depreciation of exchange rate of currency reserves versus USD has reduced the reserves by 136.6 million dollars over the last three months. Other factors including sales on domestic currency market (about 60.6 million dollars net or 3.4 percent of reserves) have influenced the currency reserves less. Interventions operated on currency market in the period concerned have balanced this market, preventing excessive fluctuations of the exchange rate. In addition, other factors such as external payments by NBM and Ministry of Finance (29.82 million dollars in the last three months) influence the level of international reserve currencies.
The official reserve assets were worth about 1.59 billion dollars in late November 2008, by about 188.7 million dollars less than in late August, when they amounted to approximately 1.78 billion dollars. Reserve currencies of NBM are maintained in several currencies and expressed in dollars, as this currency has the highest share on monetary market of Moldova (between 60 and 70 percent).
4. Banking system
Central bank reduces monetary policy rate by 1.5 percent…
This decision was made at a sitting of the Board of Directors of the National Bank on November 27. It also decided to reduce by 1.5 percent the norm of mandatory reserves from means attracted by banks in Moldovan lei and unconvertible currency, as well as from means attracted in freely convertible currency.
The reduction of the mandatory reserve norm will let the National Bank render liquidities worth about 232 million lei, 8.8 million dollars and 9.8 million Euros to the banking system.
The inflation rate of 9.8 percent for the last 12 months recorded in late October 2008, compared with October 2007, fits the NBM objective for 2008. The inversion of inflation trend and continuous trend of inflation to decline registered in May-October 2008 is a strong proof of the right monetary policy promoted by the National Bank, supported through the budgetary-fiscal policy of the Government. However, the reduction of inflation was possible through the direct intervention of the state into administrated prices.
5. Labour market
ILO forecasts lower wages…
The International Labour Organisation forecasts that salaries will grow by 0.8 percent in developed countries and by 1.7 percent in the world in 2008. In 2009, wages will decrease by 0.5 percent in developed countries and will grow by 1.1 percent in the world. According to the ILO report, while wages will tend to grow in the world, they will be on the decline in some countries. Food prices in some countries will be so high that they will seriously hit incomes of employees. The inflation on food products could reduce the living standards should governments fail to take immediate actions. Thus, the share of incomes allocated for food will grow in 2008–2009. In particular, this will be higher for poor population and people earning low wages from developing countries.
According to ILO, 75 percent of earnings of poor people in Moldova went to foodstuffs in the last years. In a related top by ILO Moldova is followed by Romania -78 percent, Armenia – 81 percent and Nigeria 83 percent. ILO noted that increasing expenditures on foodstuffs while salaries will not grow much will reduce expenses of families for other necessities such as services and other goods needed for a normal living. In consequence, the ILO warns that the health condition of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers could worsen.
"5+2"format – the best one
U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Asif J. Chaudhry visited Tiraspol on November 24 and met Transnistrian officials there. According to the news agency Olvia-press, the U.S. diplomat has shared the interest of his country to help developing the regional infrastructure via the Millennium Challenge Corporation project, especially to contribute to rebuilding two segments of the ninth European transit corridor which crosses the region from the left bank of the Dniester. Asked to tell his point of view regarding the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, the U.S. ambassador stated that the resolution shall be based on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova; the "5+2" negotiation format is the best one to find an optimal solution; the withdrawal of the Russian military forces from the Transnistrian region is essential for the conflict resolution.
Transnistrian issue to be discussed at the annual OSCE Ministerial Summit
OSCE Secretary-General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut accompanied by the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Mr. Philip Remler, visited Transnistria on November 29. The aim of the visit was to collect facts about the conflict resolution negotiation process, as the December 4–5 Ministerial Summit in Helsinki will discuss the Transnistrian issue as well. The visit included a meeting with Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, who reported his meetings with Presidents Voronin, Yushchenko and Medvedev this year. OSCE representatives have stressed more than once the need to restart the "5+2" negotiations, assuring that this is the best format. However, Smirnov reconfirmed Russia’s position which would support any solution accepted by the conflicting parties, with the "5+2" format aiming to confirm agreements reached within the "2+1" format.
Commander of Russian ground forces inspects Russian peacekeepers from Transnistria
General Bladimir Boldirev, commander of the Russian land forces, visited the Transnistrian region on November 26. The declared goal of the visit was to inspect garrisons of Russian peacekeepers. According to Tiraspol’s mouthpiece Olvia-Press, Russian peacekeepers would count for 700 persons. The agency noted that the peacekeeping mission is allegedly regulated by the convention on principles of peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova.
Note by ADEPT: Olvia-press reports are untrue. Firstly, the Transnistrian agency distorted the name of the convention. Secondly, the convention does not regulate the peacekeeping mission, but "military contingents of volunteers."
Impact of the world financial crisis on Transnistrian economy
According to estimates by the deputy chairman of the Transnistrian Chamber of Commerce, Yuri Ganin, the production volume has dropped by about 20 percent over the last months following the world financial crisis. Ganin noted that Transnistria was exporting production worth 94 million dollars a month before the crisis, and the cost of supplies dropped down to 74 million dollars in October (prices of metal and cement, key exports of Transnistria, have decreased twofold on the world market). Expectations for the first half of next year are pessimistic, as imports will likely decrease in continuation, in order to remedy effects of the crisis, experts of the Transnistrian Chamber of Commerce recommends actions such as providing banks with liquidities, combating inflation, encouraging exports. But the Russian financial support is the major hope in this regard. Ganin spoke about what he described as catastrophic condition of the Transnistrian agriculture. He said that the Transnistrian region imports 85 percent of the food products it needs. The agricultural production from the region covers only 10 percent of the volume of 1991, when the USSR had collapsed. Ganin considers that the current crisis is an occasion to start redressing the economy of the Transnistrian region and remedy three disequilibria:
The first disequilibrium is the fact that Transnistria pays annually 400 million dollars more for imports than it collects from exports. The currency deficit is the effect of the trade balance deficit;
The second disequilibrium is budgetary. Budgetary expenses grow every year and there is no strategic vision regarding sources to complete expenses but increasing the tax burden on industrial units;
The third disequilibrium consists in the relation between industry, agriculture and small business. The Transnistrian economy is based on industry, and about ten enterprises complete the budgetary incomes. This disequilibrium makes the Transnistrian economy very unstable. Thus, the Transnistrian economy would immediately lose about 60 percent of the volume should the Ribnita-based Metallurgical Factory stop working for certain reasons. The share of the small business in the Transnistrian GDP is 13 percent only (According to Olvia-press).
Republic of Moldova recognises Russia’s properties in Transnistria?!
After the November 13–14, 2008 CIS Summit, Moldovan Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have had a bilateral meeting and signed four documents. One of them envisages the Cuciurgan Power Plant located on the left bank of the Dniester River, "belonging to the Russian investor Inter RAO EES" (the power plant belongs to Inter RAO EES after being scandalously owned by other "investors"). Thus, during the Greceanii-Putin meeting, the Moldovan state enterprise Moldelectrica and Inter RAO EES have signed a contract on the use of Moldovan power networks for the export of energy from the Cuciurgan plant to Romania.
Note by ADEPT: The signing of the contract between Moldelectrica and Inter RAO EES in the presence of Premiers Greceanii and Putin should probably mean that Moldova recognises the Russian company as owner of the Cuciurgan Power Plant, though the latter was not privatised accordingly to the Moldovan legislation. Curiously, five years ago, Vladimir Putin, in his quality of president of Russia, should attend the signing of the Kozak Memorandum in Chisinau and give the necessary weight to this document.
Smirnov prepare his successor
The Patriotic Party of Transnistria (PPT) led by Oleg Smirnov, the son of the Transnistrian leader, has adopted a new programme. According to developers, the new programme has a social-patriotic nature which denies the liberalism for seeking the "escape of the state from economy and not caring about social stratification." The programme also stipulates the introduction of a proportional electoral system; the opening of the public chamber for controlling public authorities; the recognition of the Orthodox as religion of the majority; the gradual rise of taxation, depending on income; the taxation of the luxury in the amount of 1–5 percent of the cost of luxury objects. Resources collected from the tax on luxury should fund social programmes. PPT has plans to establish a strategic partnership with trade unions.
Initiative by civil society turned down
The editorial staff of the Bender-based opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta has launched an initiative to build confidence between the two banks of the Dniester. According to the initiative, following the April 11, 2008 meeting between President Voronin and Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, a forum of civil society organisations from both banks of the Dniester is needed to develop permanent contacts capable to enhance mutual confidence. Tiraspol’s mouthpiece Olvia-press published on November 20 an ample commentary on the initiative concerned, saying that civil society organisations from the right bank of the Dniester and a number of organisations from the left bank of the Dniester are funded by western institutions. For these reasons, Olvia-press concluded that the new initiative is an emanation of some western institutions which support the resumption of the "5+2" negotiation process. The derisive commentary and the distrusting attitude towards utility of this initiative are based on the fact that Russia has never supported the participation of civil society organisations in strengthening confidence."
Note by ADEPT: Starting 2005, Russia has funded, via structures controlled by former presidential advisor Modest Kolerov, the Proriv organisations in Transnistria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia, which had other goals but strengthening confidence between the conflicting parties in the regions concerned, and the goal of Proriv in Crimea was to develop a conflict.
On November 25, heads of EU missions, the European Commission Delegation and the Office of the EU Special Representative released a joint declaration on situation in the Republic of Moldova before the forthcoming 2009 parliamentary elections. The joint declaration:
- Invites Moldovan authorities to assure that the future parliamentary elections will be conducted in compliance with international standards on democratic elections;
- Highlights the importance of guaranteeing full respect for the political pluralism principle and raises concerns that a number of political parties have signalled difficulties to comply with new procedures imposed by the law on political parties;
- Raises concern with the increasing number of criminal investigations opened recently against opposition politicians;
- Stresses the importance of guaranteeing the access of all parties participating in elections to the media and ensuring an equable media coverage of the electoral process;
- Grants a special importance to the editorial independence of the public audiovisual and their pluralism during the electoral campaign, with renewing broadcasting licences being very relevant in this regard;
- Asks Moldovan authorities to modify the Electoral Code accordingly to recommendations by OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and relevant ECHR jurisprudence.