STUDY – Future Legislative Initiatives: Between Populism and Lack of Feasibility

STUDY – Future Legislative Initiatives: Between Populism and Lack of Feasibility
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19 July 2021 | 10:02

By definition, deputies are legislators who, once in Parliament, draft and pass laws for the benefit of voters. The deputies will be enabled to work as soon as the Constitutional Court validates the election results. We asked future deputies about the first legislative initiatives they will present at the plenary session and then requested experts to analyze them. We summarize thus that some intentions of the future deputies would be populist and less feasible.

According to Sergiu Litvinenco, representative of the Action and Solidarity Party, the majority faction in the new Parliament, party members aim to fight corruption right from the start.

“Everybody knows that we started this campaign for fair justice and for a real fight against corruption. That is why Action and Solidarity Party aims to develop and promote draft amendments to the Constitution,” said Litvinenco.

In this context, we asked an expert in constitutional law to analyze the Action and Solidarity Party initiatives.

The first step would be to draft and promote a Constitutional amendment bill that would allow the confiscation of property that officials and dignitaries cannot justify.

According to Teodor Cârnaț, an expert in constitutional law, the proposal is populist and impossible.

It is impossible to amend the Constitution because there is a provision in the Constitution in which it is presumed that the property is acquired legally. Moreover, Art.142 states that any limitation of a right or freedom is unconstitutional from the start,” says Cârnaț.

According to the expert, the proposal to confiscate the property would have little chance of success. “It is rather a populist initiative, even if it aims at fighting corruption. The confiscation can take place following a criminal trial in which it would be proved that the property in question was acquired illegally,” explains the expert. He recalls that, previously, Nicolae Eșanu, being Deputy Minister of Justice, had come with the initiative to exclude the constitutional provision that any property of a person is presumed to be legal, but it did not work.

“In other states, the property owner must prove that the property is acquired legally. In Moldova, there is no such provision, but it is presumed that everything you have belongs to you legally. The illegality should be proved by the Prosecutor’s Office, the police bodies,” points out Cârnaț.

The second initiative of the Action and Solidarity Party will be to develop and promote a bill on amendments to the Constitution to exclude the immunity of the head of state and deputies for corrupt practices.

According to Teodor Cârnaț, this initiative is feasible, but not possible.

“Such initiatives have been proposed before, but have never been implemented. From the point of view of populism, it sounds good and it is achievable, that is, the Constitution can be amended, but a big obstacle comes from the opposition,” the expert explains.

Probably those from the Action and Solidarity Party realize that to amend the Constitution, they need the vote of those from the SHOR Party or from the Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists, who announced they were in opposition and would never support the ideas promoted by the Action and Solidarity Party. Thus, the Action and Solidarity Party will pursue a fruitless policy, claiming that they have advanced such initiatives, but the socialists, the communists, and those from SHOR oppose it,” foresees Cârnaț.

“I would recommend them to draft tangible laws that can be implemented now, not projects whose fate depends on the opposition that does not want to do the politics of the majority,” Cârnaț points out.

The Action and Solidarity Party also seeks to revise the legislation on the declaration of wealth and personal interests by civil servants and public dignitaries, in order to exclude the declaration of assets at reduced prices or the circumvention of the declaration of certain goods.

According to the expert, this is a welcome initiative, and for its realization, the parliamentary majority will not need the vote of the opposition.

“It is right that the assets should be estimated at the commercial price and not at the declarative one, indicated in the contracts. As the Action and Solidarity Party vote is enough, in this case, it may happen in the near future. The implementation of such a law would be effective in the fight against corruption in public institutions. It would refer not only to real estate but also to movable property, such as cars. In this sense, a criminal investigation could be initiated for forgery in public documents,” says Cârnaț.

The SHOR Party will have six deputies in the next Parliament. I asked Marina Tauber what the first legislative initiatives of the faction will be. She refused to speak on the phone but later sent a written answer.

“We believe that the politicians must achieve their commitments to people. We will strongly promote our program which provides granting single and monthly allowances to citizens who return home, exemption from customs duties, social taxes, and other facilities. We must support young families. We must understand that young people are simply afraid to conceive children because of poverty, lack of predictability, and the fact that they have no aid from the state. In this situation, the SHOR Party will demand the adoption of the bill which provides for a significant increase in childbirth allowances, up to 1000 euros, as well as opening an account for each child, in which the state will monthly allocate money that each young person will receive at the age of 18. Our highest priority is to increase pensions. Our bill stipulates that the minimum pension should be 5000 euros and we believe that this is the least we can do for pensioners. This bill must be supported by all deputies and we believe that if the deputies from other parties have at least a little respect for the pensioners, this bill must be voted unanimously at the first meetings,” Marina Tauber wrote in her answer.

I asked an economic expert to analyze the proposals of the SHOR Party.

Adrian Lupușor, executive director of Expert-Grup, described the initiatives as unfeasible, “they have nothing to do with the budgetary reality.”

“If the initiatives were from the realm of reality, the previous governments would have implemented them. The decision to increase pensions or allowances is not new; the problem is in the source of funding. Deputies should not come with just initiatives that are one side of the issue; they should identify the financial resources as well. The other side of the problem is how this initiative could be sustainable over time,” Lupușor explains.

According to the expert, such legislative initiatives are over the budget of Moldova. “Maybe the authors of such initiatives have other data about public finances, but as far as I know, the budget does not allow such expenses,” says Adrian Lupușor.

The Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists will have 32 deputies. We tried to talk to several members of the party; however, none of the persons we called (Zinaida Greceanîi, Vlad Bătrîncea, Grigore Novac) answered our calls and messages.

AUTHOR MAIL eng.zdg@gmail.com

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