IPN Yesterday in Brief, for 15 August 2019

Acting GP Dumitru Robu requested Parliament to strip MP Ilan Shor of immunity from prosecution. As noted by Speaker Zinaida Greceanîi, this will allow prosecutors to arrest, detain, search and arraign the former Orhei mayor and businessman.

Meanwhile, a law enforcement task-force raided the Chisinau Airport and the offices of the operating company AviaInvest. Passport control and customs officers at the Airport as well as AviaInvest managers are being suspected of facilitating Shor’s alleged illegal departure in June. The searches revealed incriminating evidence, the PG Office said.

The Democratic Party is accusing the government of usurping power and attempting to rig elections. "We will file several complaints and notifications to the General Prosecutor's Office, based on proven facts of usurpation of state power by the current governing regime, including between June 8 and 15, as well as based on more illegalities, abuses and excesses of power”, said Pavel Filip.

The Cabinet appointed two judges to the Constitutional Court. They are Liuba Șova and Nicole Roșca, selected out of four candidates proposed to the Government by the competition commission. "As for the score, Vladimir Grosu and Eduard Serbenco, the other two candidates selected by the commission, obtained a better result than Nicolae Roșca. But our idea is to promote new people at the Constitutional Court and at other institutions too. I think this is fair," Prime Minister Maia Sandu said.

Parliament today adopted in the final reading the draft law on the amendment of the State Budget Law for the current year. The draft envisages a decrease in revenues by 1,492.0 million MDL and in expenses by 1,327.4 million MDL. Hence, the deficit increases by 164.6 million MDL. At the same time, there are estimated increases in the value added tax rate on imported goods, on goods produced and services provided on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, increases as regards the external grants for budget support, income tax for individuals, dividends and other increases.

Tax facilities for gambling have been canceled. "Thanks to these fiscal incentives, which gradually emerged on a yearly basis, the gambling industry reacted predictably, developing and becoming more profitable, being later declared a state monopoly. Via existing incentives, the state of the Republic of Moldova, in essence, promotes gambling, which is not necessarily honorable and not necessarily the most sustainable economic model and also entails a pronounced risk of corruption and money laundering”, is stated in the note accompanying the bill.

Parliament voted in the final third reading the draft law which provides for the annulment of the mixed electoral system and the return to the proportional system. Moldovan citizens from abroad will be able to vote with their passport, identity card or military identity card at the parliamentary, presidential elections and national referendum. They will also be able to vote with expired passports. The integrity certificates have been excluded. On the election day and one day before the election, no campaigning shall be allowed.

During a meeting with the US Congressman Mike Quigley, PM Maia Sandu assured her Government is fighting against corruption and is looking for solutions to recover the money stolen from the banking system. At the same time, Sandu stressed the need for proper management of state resources. For his part, the US official reiterated the readiness of the United States to continue to support the Republic of Moldova. Mike Quigley stressed the need to ensure transparency in state decision-making processes and to fight corruption in our country.

At a meeting of the Governmental Commission for European Integration, the prime minister asked the relevant authorities to get actively involved so that
a number of additional actions required by the EU could be completed by the end of September so that Moldova could secure EU funding.Natalia Gavrilița, Minister of Finance, notes that the macro-financial assistance includes 28 conditions and that a series of well-organized actions in order to meet the commitments is needed. The political conditions imposed by the EU envisage ensuring democratic standards throughout the country, conducting free, transparent local elections, demonopolizing the media market, observing human rights and the rule of law. This also involves investigating bank fraud, revealing corruption schemes, depoliticizing justice and carrying out the fiscal package regulation.

"We have identified a strong political will in the new government to bring good results, which will be felt by the people, by the citizens, as their lives will improve. And this largely coincides with our interests and with the EU and Moldova common plan objectives”, stated the EU ambassador Peter Michalko. "The judiciary must be independent, the judges independent in their decisions. The Prosecutor's Office must work while respecting the rule of law, but also the rights and freedoms of citizens. Independent institutions, media regulators or the competition supervision council must properly do their job, not selectively or ignoring situations when narrow interests dominate in the society”, said the EU ambassador in Chisinau.

The hail storms which occurred in May and in June affected the quality of apples. This year, a smaller quantity of apples is intended for export. Asked by IPN, Iurie Fală, executive director of the Moldova Fruct Association, said that although the harvest is larger than last year’s, about 670 thousand tonnes of apples, from a quality standpoint, are worse than last year's output.

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