Public Statement regarding the slippages in the democratic process from December 3, 2020, committed by the new parliamentary majority PSRM, Șor Party and “Pentru Moldova” group

December 7, 2020

The National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemns abuses committed by failure to comply with legal procedures of promotion of draft laws, committed by the parliamentary majority, composed of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova, Șor Party, and “Pentru Moldova” group, during the plenary session of the Parliament on the December 3, 2020, namely, adoption, with fragrant violation of the legislative procedures, of draft laws of major importance to the economic, social and information security of the country. The course of events at the plenary session took the characteristics of agreements made between clans with obscure interests in power, jeopardizing the foreign relations with the strategic partners of the USA, the EU and Romania, hiding corruption schemes in the draft budget law and undermining state security through draft laws that fuel separation on ethic criteria, stimulates separatism and federalization of the Republic of Moldova.

Moreover, none of the draft laws were subjected to anti-corruption expertise nor consulted publicly. Likewise, the draft laws lacked the opinion of the profile parliamentary commissions and the opinion of the Government. The draft laws were voted on as a matter of urgency, although, with one exception, they do not cover urgent topics. We note that most of the decisions adopted on December 3, 2020 have the aim of undermining the role of the new President elect of the Republic of Moldova. We urge members of the Parliament to strictly respect the law, the will of the people, and to refrain from promoting initiatives which undermine the rule of law, the independence of public institutions, democracy and the country’s external relations, as well as encourage the promotion of obscure schemes to the detriment of national interests and objectives. We also urge the Parliament to fully exercise its parliamentary control function, comply with the principles of decision transparency, not to accept for approval documents which have not complied with the legal procedures for consultation with the public. At the same time, state institutions must not change their subordination according to who comes to the Presidency.

At the meeting on 3 December 2020, the Parliament adopted the following main acts:

  • In two readings on the same day – the law on the transfer of SIS to the Parliament’s subordination. The draft law was registered in Parliament by the Socialist deputies on December 1, 2020, and voted after 2 days, without the opinions of the parliamentary committees and the existence of the anti-corruption expert report, which are mandatory according to the law. The draft law was not even discussed in the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Public Order, which had to present the report in Parliament’s plenary. According to the disposition of the President of the Parliament, the draft law was transferred for examination to the Legal Committee, controlled by the parliamentary majority. The haste with which this legislative initiative was adopted can only be explained by the desire of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova to politically control the SIS after the loss of the presidential elections by Igor DODON. In fact, the transfer of the SIS under presidential control was also carried out at the request of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova, in 2019, when the country’s President was the informal leader of the party.
  • In two readings during the same day – the annulment of the 2018 act on the sale of land on which the republican stadium was located for the construction of the Embassy of USA to the Republic of Moldova, after it was registered in Parliament by the Socialist deputies on December 1, 2020. The draft law was also not discussed in all parliamentary committees and was not subjected to anti-corruption expertise. The project was voted without the opinion of the Government, which is mandatory for projects that may affect public revenues. The Government’s opinion was also imperiously needed given that the adoption of this project could lead to a deterioration of bilateral relations with the United States. We mention that, on December 2, 2020, the Șor Party registered in the parliament a draft law for the concession of this land, and after the adoption on December 3 of the law, the leader of this party, Ilan Șor, announced on social media networks his intentions to build an amusement park on this land.
  • In first reading – the amendment of the legislation on the functioning of spoken languages on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. This draft law, registered by the Socialist deputies on December 1, 2020, was adopted without prior discussion, in the absence of the opinion of all parliamentary commissions and anti-corruption expertise. Given that the subject of languages spoken in the Republic of Moldova is a particularly sensitive one for the society, the illegal adoption of this draft law intentionally aggravates tensions in society, apparently,  with the aim to withdraw the public opinion from the real problems of the country  ( the pandemic crisis that is worsening, the increasing rate of poverty, corruption, etc.)
  • In the first reading – the amendment of the audiovisual legislation, for reduction of the mandatory volume of own broadcasted material and to exclude the interdiction to broadcast propagandistic materials from abroad. This draft law was registered by the Socialist deputies on November 23, 2020, 10 days before the approval in the first reading. This draft law was also not discussed in the profile committee (education and mass-media) and has been allocated by the President of the Parliament to be presented to the Legal Commission, controlled by the parliamentary majority.
  • In the first reading – the adoption of the fiscal and budget policy, of the state budgets and of the social insurance for the year 2021. The draft laws, with a volume of several hundred pages, were published by the Government for public consultation on November 30, 2020, adopted by the Government on the same day and registered in parliament on the evening of 1 December 2020. Similar to the already established bad practice, the draft laws were not discussed in all parliamentary commissions. Deputies were given less than 24 hours to study them. Given the importance of these draft laws, their hasty examination, even during the first lecture, when conceptual matters of the laws are discussed, has no justification.

It is also a matter of concern that, in the last period of time, deputies of the parliamentary majority have registered several draft laws in parliament aimed at reducing parliamentary democracy. Also during the plenary session on December 3, 2020, the composition of the permanent bureau of the Parliament was modified- the body that establishes the parliamentary agenda. The number of representatives of the Democratic Party of Moldova, which is now in opposition, has been reduced to ensure control of the parliamentary majority over the permanent bureau. This behavior is irresponsible and can only further degrade confidence in Parliament. The Venice Commission spoke out against reducing democracy to a simple majority: “Democracy cannot be reduced to the rule of the majority; majority rule is limited by the Constitution and by law, primarily in order to safeguard the interests of minorities. Of course, the majority steers the country during a legislative period but it must not subdue the minority; it has an obligation to respect those who lost the last elections.”

The Moldovan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was created in 2011 and currently has 96 member organisations, 8 of these organisations being umbrella-organisations for other over a thousand organizations. Its mission is to contribute to the European integration process and advocate for democracy in the Republic of Moldova. The National Platform actively contributes to the advocacy process and monitors the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Moldova and other relevant documents that refer to the Eastern Partnership and the relationship between the EU and the Republic of Moldova.

Signatories of the Declaration :

  1. Transparency International Moldova
  2. Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT
  3. Centre for Independent Journalism
  4. Institute for Urban Development
  5. Association of Independent Press
  6. Promo-LEX
  7. European Institute for Political Studies
  8. International Centre for Women Rights Protection and Promotion “La Strada”
  9. Institute for Human Rights 
  10. Alliance of Active NGOs for Social Protection of Child and Family
  11. „Ave Copiii”
  12. Legal Resources Centre from Moldova
  13. National Roma Centre
  14. Institute for European Policies and Reforms
  15. Independent Analytical Centre Expert-Grup
  16. Union of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities from Moldova
  17. Community
  18. Amnesty International Moldova
  19. ESGA (Experts for Security and Global Affairs)
  20. CASMED
  21. Local Democracy Agency Moldova
  23. Centre of Development in Education
  24. Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance
  25. Alliance of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities
  27. Institutum Virtutes Civiles
  28. Медиа Центр Приднестровья
  29. Centre for Policies and Reforms
  30. Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul”
  31. Alliance of Small Enterprises from Moldova
  32. Business Professional Women
  33. Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova
  34. Foreign Policy Association
  35. INTECO
  36. „Moms in Action”
  37. National Association of Paralegals from the Republic of Moldova
  38. „Woman and Child-Protection and Support”
  39. „Pro-Europa” Centre from Comrat
  40. Regional Centre for Durable Development from Ungheni
  41. National Association of European Trainers from Moldova
  42. Regional Centre „Contact” Bălți
  43. “Youth for Future”
  44. Informational and Support Centre for Young Economists “CERTITUDINE”
  45. National Centre of Assistance and Information for Moldovan NGOs “CONTACT”
  46. „Pro Regional Cooperation”
  47. Small Business Association
  48. Centre for Development and Management
  49. Centre of Economic Development and Public Affairs
  50. Business Consulting Institute
  51. National LEADER Network in Moldova
  52. “Terra-1530”
  53. Association of Women for Environmental Protection and Durable Development
  54. Ecological Consulting Centre Cahul
  55. BIOS
  56. ECOTOX
  57. Ștefan-Vodă Territorial Organisation of the Ecological Movement of Moldova
  58. Regional Environment Centre from Moldova
  59. Association for Waste Recovery E-circular
  60. Ecological Movement of Moldova
  61. „Hai Moldova”
  62. Regional Centre of Environmental Studies ECOS
  63. Republican Centre for Children and Youth Gutta-Club
  64. International Association of River Keepers „Eco-Tiras”
  65. “Cutezătorul”
  66. “Caroma-Nord”
  67. Eco-Contact
  68. “BIOTICA”
  69. National Environment Centre
  70. Alliance for Energy Efficiency and Renewables
  71. Automobil Club Moldova
  72. Eco-Sor
  73. GREEN-School
  74. ”MilleniuM” Training and Development Institute
  75. National Youth Council of Moldova
  76. „Youth for the Right to Live”
  77. East-European Foundation
  78. Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration Agency
  79. „Eco-Răzeni”
  80. Institute of Public Policies
  81. Foundation for Advancement of Moldova
  82. ”Interaction”
  83. Foundation for Education and Advancement of Moldova
  84. AEGEE-Chișinău
  85. Centre of Innovation and Policies from Moldova
  86. „VESTA” Gagauzia Regional Association
  87. European Centre for Social Initiatives “Stalker”
  88. Platform for Active Citizenship and Partnership for Human Rights CAP
  89. Labour Institute
  90. National Trade Union Confederation of Moldova
  91. Federation of Trade Unions in Construction and Construction Materials Industry SINDICONS
  92. National Trade Union Confederation „SĂNĂTATEA” din RM

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