The operating regulations of the Commission for Exceptional Situations (CSE) and the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission (CNESP) do not provide for the decision-making process of these bodies, said Igor Boțan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, during a public debate titled "COVID-19 crisis management efficiency in Moldova".
According to Igor Boțan, it is reasonable that members of the executive are part of CSE and CNESP, because it is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, specifically that the government adopts decisions. However, these commissions also include members who are subordinated to other participating institutions. "For example, ANSP is subordinated to MSMPS. How do they adopt decisions? Will ANSP decisions override those of the ministry?", asked the ADEPT executive director.
Igor Boțan added that there is a problem related to transparency and reporting. According to both committee regulations, the decisions and meeting minutes should be published. "The following question comes to mind. Why should the minutes be published? Probably, it is the case to publish the minutes in order to reflect the different opinions expressed at meetings. Considering that the executive takes decisions, we concluded that it is necessary to expand the commissions with members of the executive. We could use the formula that was applied by CEC during the elections, namely to include voting members and members with advisory rights". This would allow to clearly understand who and how is making the decisions.
Igor Boțan pointed out that, during a meeting of the Supreme Security Council, the president said that "we are facing a national maturity test" in regard to crisis management. After a month, the head of state publicly said that "medical professionals recommend to tighten restrictions", while the country's leadership prioritized the economy. "Which one is it?", asked Boțan. "Should we focus on passing the national maturity test or should we prioritize the economy?".
Igor Boțan added that the prime minister was overburdened during the state of emergency, because he led or was a member of several commissions, while being responsible for adopting decisions.
For the common man, a large problem is the cost of masks, which is higher than during the period before the pandemic. "Masks are expensive. A commission was tasked with capping mask prices", said Igor Boțan.
According to the expert, in the event of a return to restrictions, citizens should understand that authorities can apply moderate penalties.
The debate was conducted as part of ADEPT’s project "Keeping an eye on the authorities: managing the Coronavirus emergency and crisis", with the support of the Good Governance Department of the Soros Foundation Moldova.