The Parliament of the 20th legislature will remain in history as one that was reset considerably, with some of the groups that initially were small extending a lot in time. “Parliament started by being unable to form a majority and, implicitly, a government coalition. This way, for the first time in Moldova, a minority coalition was formalized and this was abnormal as a parliamentary minority usually governs towards the end of the mandate, when the future elections are to be prepared,” vice director of the Institute of Legal, Political and Sociological Research Victor Juc stated in the public debate “Place of Parliament of 20th legislature in life of society and in history of Moldovan parliamentarianism” that was the 98th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates”, staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova.
Victor Juc said the activity of the Parliament of the 20th legislature should be analyzed according to a number of coordinates. Lawmaking is the first of these coordinates and this was practically the same as in other legislatures, especially because other legislatures also adopted laws that are yet debated and that were discussed a lot by the public. For example, the Parliament of the 13th legislature, of 1994-1998, adopted a very controversial law to forgive the debts of kolkhozes for the reason that these didn’t have money and could not clear the debts. Also, the Parliament of the 19th legislature adopted the long-debated law on the equality of chances. A more vulnerable point refers to the law on the voluntary declaration of incomes that was adopted by the current Parliament, which also caused considerable debates in society. Another coordinate refers to the beginning of the mandate of the current legislative body, when, before the parliamentary elections of November 30, 2014, an electoral competitor with big chances of entering Parliament was removed from the electrical race. If this hadn’t been removed, the structure, representation and groups in Parliament would have been different.
Speaking about the existence or lack of relations between different entities inside Parliament and between Parliament and society, Victor Juc said this aspect should be addressed from two angles – the formal segment where a frequently harsh struggle between different groups and MPs is witnessed before video cameras, and the informal segment where MPs of different groups display common interests in the absence of video cameras. “In general, I think the current Parliament had defective cooperation with society. It is a tradition in the Republic of Moldova for the government to practically always ignore the opposition. The parliamentary majority adopts those bills that it considers opportune and the voice of the opposition is not taken into account at all, even if it is listened to,” he stated, giving as example the parliamentary consultations on the majority electoral system and then on the mixed system in which he took part, saying the proposals formulated by him or other specialists in the field were neglected and the opposition was almost always marginalized.
Victor Juc said the parliamentary system in the Republic of Moldova is not a classical one as the parliamentary system is determined by the relation between the President and the Head of Government. “In Moldova, we have a parliamentary system, but the Premier does not enjoy prerogatives similar to those in Italy, Germany, Austria or Hungary. Speaking about a parliamentary regime only because the President is marginalized in his powers is not the happiest case,” he stated.
According to Victor Juc, not only the Parliament of the 20th legislature cooperated inappropriately, but this lack of communication is the expression of political culture. In three-four legislatures, the party switching in the current Parliament will be forgotten, as the Parliament of 2001-2005, which was distinctive in Moldova’s history as a group there had 71 members, was also forget. The short-term legislatures, like that of April 5, 2009, will also be forgotten. “I think Parliament in general has many accomplishments and failures and history will weigh them all,” he said.
The debate “Place of Parliament of 20th legislature in life of society and in history of Moldovan parliamentarianism” forms part of the series of debates held by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova as part of the project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.