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Public Discussion: Conditions and particularities of Parliament’s spring/summer session
on the organization of the debate “Conditions and particularities of Parliament’s 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 20 February 2017, Debate 70 brought together Valentina Buliga, Democratic MP;
- Vlad Batrîncea, Socialist MP; Lilian Carp, Liberal MP; Tudor Deliu, Lib-Dem MP; and Igor Boțan, the Project’s standing expert.
Why this subject and why this format?
As Parliament’s 2017 spring-summer session approaches, society has a right to know what the lawmakers are up to. Knowing the priorities and plans will help the public adjust their expectations and evaluate Parliament’s work. Such monitoring is also helpful in light of the next parliamentary election, whether regular or early.
The invited speakers represent groups that collectively hold 66 seats in the legislature and thus have the legitimacy and possibility to establish priorities and plans for the upcoming session.
The debate was an occasion to discuss the priorities on the upcoming session’s agenda, who establishes the priorities and how, and who is responsible for making sure they are implemented. Additionally, the speakers discussed how the current specific circumstances can impact Parliament’s work.
In particular, the speakers suggested that the priorities of the spring-summer session of Parliament are divided and these coincide with the expectations of society, which is also divided along social and political lines. On the one hand, the parliamentary alliance speaks about a consistent agenda that covers the commitments assumed before the people and the partners. On the other hand, the representatives of the parliamentary opposition say their bills are not accepted and the ruling alliance is trying to make them keep silent.
Valentina Buliga, MP of the Democratic Party of Moldova, said the legislature started work on February 1, within the standing commissions, in platforms with civil society, etc. On February 2, the Government and Parliament had a joint meeting that involved all the ministers and members of the parliamentary commissions. These discussed a new roadmap for 2017-2018, in accordance with the commitments undertaken before the people and the European partners.
Given the confusion existing in society, the MP noted there should be no doubt that the Republic of Moldova will continue its European course. Even if this is not an easy road, effort will be made to do reforms and the homework. According to the Government and the parliamentary alliance, strengthening the state institutions, including by doing the central public administration reform and public procurement reform, is a priority. Among the priorities are also the continuation of the fight against corruption and rehabilitation of the national economy for the benefit of the people.
Vlad Batrancea, of the Socialist parliamentary group, said the Socialists, as usual, will propose important bills in the current session. These envision the increase in the agriculture subsidization fund, extension of the list of drugs and medical services covered by the health policy and indexation of pensions two times a year. However, the identification of solutions for dissolving the current Parliament and initiating early parliamentary elections is the key priority for the Party of Socialists. The existing problems cannot be solved by the legislature in the current composition.
The Socialist MP also said that it’s nearly March, but the legislative body hasn’t been yet convened for the first sitting and it seems that a sitting will not take place this week either. Parliament is nonfunctional and there is no agenda with the priorities of the current session. Moreover, it’s known that there is no agreement to this effect inside the parliamentary alliance.
Liberal MP Lilian Carp stated that over 60 draft laws are outstanding from the previous session and will be included in the agenda of the first sitting of the current session. They discuss the central public administration reform, but the Liberals will also insist on the local public administration reform because they consider that the powers enjoyed now by the mayor’s offices should be reviewed. Besides, such unexpected problems as alimentation in education institutions will also be high on the Parliament’s list of priorities. A special commission was constituted to identity the necessary solutions and these will be supported by a unanimous vote as the commission includes representatives of all the parliamentary groups.
Tudor Deliu, MP of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, said the Liberal-Democratic parliamentary group held a meeting to agree the priorities and these will be approved in another meeting that will take place soon. It is yet hard to speak about the priorities because the opposition is crushed repeatedly by the parliamentary majority. Most of the bills proposed by the opposition are gathering dust, but they can improve the situation in a number of areas. For example, in the meeting of the first Opposition Day on November 25, 2016, only five of the 15 proposed drafts laws were included in the agenda. The Lib-Dems will work again in the opposition and will represent the bell that will ring when the government takes wrong steps.
Igor Botan, the project’s standing expert, said society in Moldova is divided and it is evident that the priorities are divided according to this division: the priorities of the government and the priorities of the presidential administration. These priorities coincide with the expectations of the social segments, but there is also an extra-agenda compiled by the Democratic Party, or more precisely by its leader Vlad Plahotniuc, and this extra-priority is to modernize the political class. The goal is to shape all the behavioral lines of the political segments according to this extra-priority. This could mean that preparations are made for elections.
According to the expert, the voice of the parliamentary position is heard and this asks how its rights are being observed. It thus becomes evident that the priorities are not convergent and this is a big regret for society because they cannot be united into a robust social body.
The public debate “Conditions and specific features of Parliament’s spring-summer session” is the 70th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture by public debates” that are staged with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.
The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 20.02.17, “Priorities of parliamentary agenda are divided, IPN public debate” - http://www.ipn.md/en/special/82256; “Tudor Deliu: Liberal-Democratic parliamentary groups remains in opposition” - http://www.ipn.md/en/politica/82258; „Valentina Buliga: Political class should unite around needs of people” - http://www.ipn.md/en/politica/82259; „Vlad Batrancea: Causing of early elections is task of PSRM and President” - http://www.ipn.md/en/politica/82260; „Lilian Carp: First sitting of Parliament is conditioned by central administration reform” - http://www.ipn.md/en/politica/82261; „Igor Botan: Priorities of government and President are divergent” - http://www.ipn.md/en/special/82263; „MPs have differing opinions about modification of electoral system” - http://www.ipn.md/en/special/82265.
Proof of deliverables is attached.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
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