Solutions from election runners: corruption. IPN series. Elections-2014

Corruption remains one of the main concerns of the people, according to opinion polls. It is considerer one of the greatest obstacles to the country’s development. However, even if they complain about corruption, the people say they are ready to offer bribe for solving a particular problem. IPN News Agency asked the election runners what anticorruption measures they propose and if this practice can be discouraged by toughening up the penalties for offering and accepting bribe.

Judges paid well if they do their duty and punished harshly if they are corrupt

The Democratic Party of Moldova said the legal system in Moldova made considerable progress over the last few years, but the state institutions have yet a lot of work to do to turn the justice sector into a truly independent and modern one. The posts in the judicial system must be freed from political influence, while justice must be governed only by the laws. This is crucial for building the people’s confidence in justice and for the court decisions to be correct. Zero tolerance of corruption is required in justice because this scourge destroys the people’s confidence in the legal system. The prosecutors and judges must be paid well if they do their job and must be harshly penalized if they turn out to be corrupt.

Another priority is to reduce the length of trials. In the future Parliament, the Democrats will propose a package of laws to remove the legal ‘doors’ allowing groundlessly extending the hearings and postponing the passing of judgment or the implementation of court decisions with delay. Corruption can be combated gradually and the essential condition is to use the good practices of the EU. There are East-European countries that managed to reduce corrupt in three-five years. The EU offers Moldova assistance in doing the necessary reforms and Moldova must show that it is ready to implement them.

Investigation of leaders from current government

The Christian Democratic People’s Party said the future government must start investigations and take legal action against the leaders of the current government so as to then confiscate their property and even jail them. This refers also to the corrupt prosecutors and judges. An absolutely necessary measure is to distinctly separate the state administration from the business community. When the political parties invest dirty money to win the elections, it is hard or even impossible to break the vicious circle. The state must openly ally with the SMEs against the sharks from the underground economy. The punishments for corruption, bribery and for any other economic crime must be increased to the maximum. Who stole 100 lei from the state or offered bribe to the same value must serve minimum ten years in jail. The public affairs and businesses can start to be correctly managed only after the abuses and offenses related to corruption are unshed exemplarily.

The blame is borne first of all by those who offer bribe. The bureaucrats who create artificial hindrances in order to remove them for money must be punished the first. The penalties of this nature must be radically reviewed and the fines or probation must be replaced with long jail terms and confiscation of property, by banning the culprits from holding posts in the public service for life. The businessmen found guilty of economic crimes must be deprived of the right to perform entrepreneurial activities. 

Jail terms for those who are corrupt or corruptible

The Liberal Reformist Party considers that the fight against corruption in Moldova is crucial, especially in the context of the apartment with the EU, which continues to offer support for combating this deep-rooted phenomenon. Corruption must be fought by a National Anticorruption Division that will have the status of the third power in the state. The current cases of large-scale corruption gathering dust in drawers must be dealt with.

Everything starts from the change of mentality and this is the hardest thing. Until then, heavy fines and even jail terms must be imposed on those who are corrupt or corruptible.

Replacement of presumption of innocence with presumption of guiltiness

The National Liberal Party considers an urgent and energetic reform is needed in the legal system so as to combat corruption at all the levels. The imperfection of our judicial system, the politically biased judges and corruption are now a serous problem that prevents massive foreign investments from coming to our country. A study by Transparency International Moldova shows that the largest bribe given by private individuals, of over 5,000 lei, is offered in the offices of lawyers. The businessmen give the largest bribes in courts of law (over 4,500 lei), in customs (over 3,000 lei) and in the offices of the cadastre services and for being issued with construction authorizations (almost 3,000 lei).

The Lustration Law must be adopted to clean the state administration system from corrupt persons and profiteers involved in dishonest activities that are harmful to the state, including extremism, separatism and promotion of the interests of other states. The presumption of innocence must be replaced with the presumption of guiltiness, while the possessions whose legal origin cannot be proven must be confiscated or taxed appropriately. The problem of patrimonial bonds in the privatization process must be seriously dealt with. A law on the formation of the middle class must be passed as this class is the guarantor of political stability and the driving force of sustainable development. Among other necessary laws are the law on party funding and the law on the combating of the underground economy and phantom companies.

Control over origin of property

The Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova believes the public servants convicted of corruption must serve time in jail, while their property and the property of their families must be confiscated. These must also be banned from holding state posts for life. A broad control is required over the assets whose origin is dubious. The functionaries must be banned from having bank accounts abroad. The privatization of state property will be reviewed. A three-level income tax must be instituted, while the tax on luxury must represent 3% to 7%.

Conditions must be created to prevent bribe offering and taking. The working conditions must be decent, with high salaries and social benefits. The corruptible components must be excluded from laws and normative documents. The law enforcement system must be improved. The people must be informed about their guaranteed rights so that they do not have to offer bribe.

Gradual elimination of cash and switchover to electronic payments

The People’s Party of the Republic of Moldova says it will exclude the phenomenon of corruption from the sociopolitical life by depoliticizing the state institutions – the public servants will be in the people’s service not in the service of political parties. The list of political posts will be limited to the number of ministers. The legal system and the prosecution service must be efficient, professional, integral, transparent and impartial so as to ensure fair and responsible justice. Electronic governance must be swiftly ensured in all the areas of public money management. The cash must be gradually eliminated and replaced by electronic payments.

Corruption exists in the countries with a high poverty level. It can be fought by developing and modernizing the country. European living standards must be created in the country. By developing and supporting the middle class, which is financially independent, the economy will prosper. When the people are politically independent, they can ensure by their vote efficient governments that work for the benefit of the people and the country.

Anticorruption laws inspired by the most advanced European legislation

The Liberal Party said it is the only sincere ‘guard’ that is able, but its behavior and by the example of its leaders and members, to prevent particular politicians from appropriating the state resources and to ensure decent living conditions in a state free from corruption, where all are equal before the law, regardless of the post or status. Therefore, the party will promote a package of anticorruption laws inspired by the most advanced European legislation and will continue to struggle to establish the rule of law and to ensure the equality of everyone before the law by ensuring the real independence of judges and prosecutors. Only the independent judges and prosecutors, as in Romania, France or Germany, can arrest and convict a former Premier, ministers, mayors, MPs, billionaires and oligarchs who break the law.

The deep-rooted corruption can be eliminated by ensuring Moldova’s economic freedom, by combating the underground economy and by protecting the business community from the abusive and interminable inspections carried out by the state bodies. With predictable legislative framework and with unanimously respected norms, the willingness to take part in acts of corruption will significantly decrease.

Programs to promote legal behavior

Independent candidate Oleg Brega considers the problem of corruption exists in the heads of the corrupt people. If these change their attitude to the phenomenon and understand that any manifestation of nepotism and favoritism and the money offered to the customs officer, policeman, doctor or the teacher are also illegal forms of corruption, this phenomenon will diminish. The size of the black economy depends also on the millions of lei in bribe given by ordinary people, not only on the millions of lei hidden by oligarchs or high-ranking state functionaries.

Education programs and intense campaigns are needed to promote the legal behavior towards functionaries. In this respect, civil society and the mass media must be encouraged with grants. The state should also do something to cultivate the civic respect for the law. The functionaries should be informed about the punishments they face, while the law enforcement bodies should more often report cases of imprisonment for acts of corruption as these have an immediate psychological effect.

Removal of immunity of judges, prosecutors and MPs

The Green Ecologist Party considers the judges, prosecutors and MPs must be deprived of immunity so as to solve the problem of corruption that begins at the upper levels. The people who offer bribe must also be punished. The government does not efficiently fight corruption because many high-ranking officials are also corrupt.

Corruption fighting must start from up to down

The Centrist Union of Moldova said all the actions aimed at combating corruption must start at the upper level. The head of state should be elected directly by the people. This way, there will be a state official who will enjoy the direct political support of the people and will have sufficient powers to effectively oppose the political, legislative and administrative abuses and to ensure a balance between the branches of power and cooperation between them for the people’s interests. Most of the MPs must be elected by the people so as to ensure connection between them and their representatives in Parliament.

Another priority is to institute the constitutional right of the people to penalize the head of state and Parliament by dismissal by the direct vote of the people. The people must also have control over the process of naming, promoting and penalizing judges by ensuring decisive representation of civil society in the composition of the Supreme Council of Magistrates. A Single Anticorruption Register must be instituted to include all the persons involved in acts of corruption, based on irrevocable court decisions. This register should be accessible to any applicant. The persons included in this register must be banned from holding public posts in the local and national authorities for a period of 5 to 20 years, from taking part in elections, tender contests financed by the state or in investment projects based on public-private partnerships.

Note: IPN News Agency asked all the election runners to state their views on the given issue. The article contains the answers provided by the agreed date. The IPN series of materials produced before the November 30 parliamentary elections will continue with other important issues identified by the public. So far there were addressed such issues as the undeclared economy, the mandatory health insurance funds , social assistance, road infrastructure and transport, unemployment, the education system, and migration.

Elena Nistor, IPN

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