Nearly 100 organizations that are members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum demand that the MPs should ask the Constitutional Court to pronounce on the constitutionality of the documents adopted by Parliament last week given the committed violations and serious procedural mistakes. According to them, the given laws were adopted in a hurry, without consultations, mostly without favorable appraisals of the responsible institutions. The MPs should strictly obey the law and he people’s will and should refrain from promoting legislative initiatives that undermine the rule of law, the independence of public institutions, democracy and the country’s foreign relations and encourage the promotion of obscure schemes to the detriment of the national interests and objectives.
In a news conference at IPN, Iulian Groza, executive director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE), which forms part of the National Platform, said the Platform describes the concerted actions taken by the MP of the majority formed by the PSRM, the Shor Party and For Moldova group as institutional sabotage aimed at destabilizing the macro-financial, economic and social situation in the Republic of Moldova, irrecoverably, for many years to come. In this connection, he calls on Parliament to fully exercise parliamentary control, to obey the principle of decisional transparency and not to accept documents that hadn’t been consulted with the public for adoption.
According to Adrian Lupușor, national facilitator of the National Platform, executive director of the Independent Think Tank “Expert Grup”, one of the harmful initiatives is the one that restores the retirement age at 57 for women and at 62 for men. This is a populist measure as it will cause damage of over 1 billion lei annually to the state budget. The authors of the initiative didn’t ensure resources for financing this measure. The explicative note is superficial.
Adrian Lupușor said this is another measure that destabilizes the system of public finances as the state social insurance budget is already in deficit. Most probably, the implementation of his law will not allow to fully implement the valorization of pensions that led to a rise in pensions for the last few years from 1,275 lei to 2,050 lei. This is a populist law that will affect taxpayers. Most probably, the beneficiaries of valorization the next few years will be unable to benefit from those raises in pensions planned for the next years as there will be no money in the budget. In the context of the pandemic, the adoption of such a law represents irresponsibility.
Tatiana Savva, economist at the Independent Think Tank “Expert Grup” that forms part of the National Platform, said the 2021 state budget law underwent major changes after it was submitted by the Government. The introduced changes do not have financial coverage and this is against the Parliament’s Regulations. The money was simply divided according to political criteria. This is a dangerous precedent for the rule of law, which annihilates all the efforts made to improve the management of public finances and budgetary transparency during the last nine years at Government and Parliament levels. The amendments made to the law on tobacco control are nothing but a mechanism for bypassing the country’s taxation system. The creation of a new tobacco product, which is as dangerous, cannot be taxed twice less than the cheapest product of the kind existing on the market. The changes in the pharmaceutical sector directly endanger the people’s health. These changes ensure the population’s access to medicines that will not be tested according to requirements and that will be probably more expensive and will limit the access to compensated drugs on the national market. The liberalization of drug prices means increase of the prices of medicines and this is more than an abuse by narrow interest groups against the public interest and health protection.
Vladislav Gribincea, executive director of the Legal Resources Center from Moldova, which is a member of the National Platform, noted that most of the populist initiatives like the lowering of the retirement age were adopted in the absence of the Government’s appraisals without which these are unconstitutional. Many of those populist laws were passed not in order to produce a legal effect, but for being declared unconstitutional so that someone else could be later blamed for this. They were used as a screen for adopting rather toxic bills or that were determined by clientele interests, like the reduced excise duties on tobacco products or alteration of the legislation on the examination of public functionaries and their dismissal.