Public debate: How much and how Parliament worked for the people during spring-summer session?

Press Release
on the organization of the debate
“How much and how Parliament worked for the people during spring-summer session?”. Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”

Held on 22 July 2020, Debate No.145 brought together: Democratic MP Nicolae Ciubuc; PAS MP Radu Marian; PPPDA MP Vasile Năstase and Igor Boțan, IPN project’s standing expert.

IPN project’s standing expert Igor Boțan said Parliament is the body that represents the community of people whose main task is to adopt laws by which the whole community lives. The state, based on these laws, has coercive powers so as to hold accountable those who break these laws. Parliament in any democratic state is the most important institution and the only body that has the right to make laws. Everyone should understand that the President of the Republic of Moldova represents the state, while Parliament represents the people, while the MPs represent sections of the population. “As we are a limitative democracy that borrows good examples and adjusts them to the realities and distorts them, we realize that our Constitution was actually borrowed from Romania. This Constitution was designed with the assistance of the Venice Commission. So, the state institutions, including of Parliament, operate according to the highest standards, but with Moldovan particularities,” stated the expert.

According to him, in 2000 the Constitution was amended and the Government was empowered to assume responsibility for a bill or a program so as to enable it to have the instruments needed to take decisions very swiftly. The rule is that if the Government assumes responsibility and Parliament does not propose a no confidence motion and does not give a vote of no confidence to it, the bill or the program assumed by the Government takes effect. Parliament can also express its distrust in the Government by submitting a motion of no confidence that is debated by the MPs in three days. If the motion is adopted, the Government is dismissed. During the spring-summer session of this year, under the pressure of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Parliament worked relatively well and exercised its control and lawmaking duties.

Democratic MP Nicolae Ciubuc said Parliament worked well despite the animosities generated by COVID-19 and the lawmaking result produced by the current legislature confirms this conclusion. The largest part of the Parliament’s activities laid emphasis on the diminution of the negative impact of the pandemic crisis. Practically all the decisions and activities of the executive and legislative powers pursued such a goal and this enabled them, including the opposition, to assert themselves by formulating proposals, even if the majority of them were either good or rather populist.

The current Parliament adopted a number of good initiatives in connection with the pandemic and this is welcome. “The budget was amended. A number of concessions for healthcare workers and pensioners were adopted. There were ratified a series of international agreements that allowed to bring more financial resources to the country, except for the Russian loan of €200 million that was antagonized, including by a Constitutional Court judgment. The commitments to the EU were fulfilled and Moldova, as a result, benefited from the second tranche of the EU macro-financial assistance,” stated Nicolae Ciubuc. He noted the split inside the Democratic Party was a distinct feature of the last session. “A number of mates were corrupted and left the party. The goal was to destabilize the situation and cause chaos in the Republic of Moldova, even if a Parliament statement condemning party switching and political corruption in the legislature was unanimously adopted as namely these phenomena contributed to diminishing people’s confidence in the legislative body, which discredited itself.

PAS MP Radu Marian reaffirmed that a number of necessary laws were adopted during the session, but Parliament was disconnected from the adoption of two crucial decisions by the assumption of responsibility by the Government and this was the biggest problem. The first time that the Government assumed responsibility, not even the members of the parliamentary majority came to that sitting and the Government’s decision was thus declared unconstitutional. The most recent assumption of responsibility was for the so-called social measures adopted by the Government. “The assumption of responsibility is a constitutional instrument, but it is applied in extremis, when Parliament is nonfunctional. In the current conditions, Parliament was ready to vote the measures that were beneficial to the people without the assumption of responsibility,” stated the MP.

Radu Marian noted the effect of the Parliament’s disconnection from the decision-making process is seen in the Government’s performance and in the absence of real population support measures. The Parliament’s successes include the 30% rise in the salaries for medical personnel, even if PAS asked for a 100% rise. The PAS voted, together with the ruling coalition, laws to make the penalties for money laundering harsher, to regulate the activity of NGOs and others. The PAS group put forward a number of proposals, such as the loan guarantee program, the salary subsidization program and the compensation of losses in agriculture. Parliament adopted a law that will increase transparency in the spending of money in the healthcare sector, etc.  

PPPDA MP Vasile Năstase said their group proposed the largest number of bills the past session – 51. One of the adopted bills concerned the successor’s pension for frontline doctors who died while fighting COVID-19. Another important amendment allows to medically insure all the Nistru war veterans free of charge.

The MP noted the attempts to assume responsibility made by the Chicu Government were politicized and were electoral in essence. The PPPDA wasn’t against the content of the laws for which the Government assumed responsibility the last time. Those laws were in support of particular categories of persons and would have been adopted in Parliament by a normal procedure. The PPPDA MPs would have proposed amendments to improve that content.

The Agency published 9 news stories on the debate (see the English version of
www.ipn.md): on 22.07.20, „How much and how Parliament worked for the people during spring-summer session? IPN debate” - https://www.ipn.md/en/how-much-and-how-parliament-worked-for-the-people-during-8004_1075051.html; „Radu Marian: Arrogance of government generated current situation” - https://www.ipn.md/en/radu-marian-arrogance-of-government-generated-current-situation-8004_1075048.html; „Vasile Năstase: We propose good things for people, but Government rejects them” - https://www.ipn.md/en/vasile-nastase-we-propose-good-things-for-people-but-government-8004_1075052.html; „ Nicolae Ciubuc: Parliament failed to show unity” - https://www.ipn.md/en/nicolae-ciubuc-parliament-failed-to-show-unity-8004_1075053.html; „ Nicolae Ciubuc: There is still place for mobilization and unity in current Parliament” - https://www.ipn.md/en/nicolae-ciubuc-there-is-still-place-for-mobilization-and-unity-8004_1075055.html; „ Radu Marian: People will judge us in elections” - https://www.ipn.md/en/radu-marian-people-will-judge-us-in-elections-8004_1075056.html; „ Igor Boțan: Parliament’s potential will become evident after presidential elections” - https://www.ipn.md/en/igor-botan-parliaments-potential-will-become-evident-after-presidential-8004_1075057.html; Igor Boțan: On a scale from “unsatisfactory” to “excellent”, Parliament will no way get “excellent” - https://www.ipn.md/en/igor-botan-on-a-scale-from-unsatisfactory-to-excellent-parliament-8004_1075058.html; „ Vasile Năstase: Party switching should be combated and condemned” -. https://www.ipn.md/en/vasile-nastase-party-switching-should-be-combated-and-condemned-8004_1075059.html.

IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.

Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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