Public activists: draft laws should pass 'zero' reading procedure

06/27/16 16:21

Public activists: draft laws should pass 'zero' reading procedure

According to Public Chamber members, public hearings and consultations should be held at this stage
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Tiraspol, 27 June. /Novosti Pridnestrovya/. A «zero reading» procedure should be applied in Pridnestrovie when considering and passing draft laws. Such an opinion was expressed today during a meeting of the PMR's Public Chamber.

According to its chairman, Sergey Smirichinsky, this procedure should be applied when drafting and considering if not all laws, then the most important of them. To pass the «zero reading» at a plenary session, the bill should be presented at public hearings or submitted to the Public Chamber for expert examination.

Involving public society representatives at the very early stage of working on the draft law must, according to Smirchinsky, minimise a risk of conflict between various branches of power on the laws' conceptual contents. «There are often serious contradictions between the legislative and executive bodies at the stage of considering draft laws. These contradictions are further translated to the local level and society as a whole. These are the things that can be avoided at the stage of discussing the very concept," said the chair of the chamber.

Thus, according to Smirchinsky, civil society can be an arbiter in a debate between various branches and bodies of power. Supreme Council member Oleg Vasilaty, who was present at the meeting, said that he had already submitted a draft law «On public hearings». However, it provides for hearings at a local rather than republican level.

Seeking a mutually acceptable consensus instead of imposing unilateral decisions, according to Public Chamber members, must be the main principle of public bodies' work. So, public activists argued against empowering the Supreme Council speaker to sign laws instead of the president. According to chamber members, this violates the foundations of the constitutional system, and if the president does not sign for some reason a draft law, it is necessary to resolve a problem through dialogue, and in the event the compromise is not found, the draft law should be enacted by the court without being submitted for the speaker's signature. «If the president and the Supreme Council cannot reach a compromise, this should be ruled, as is done in all civilised countries, by the court," noted Sergey Smirichinsky.

Also the Public Chamber gave a negative opinion on a draft law proposing to reduce the minimum voter turnout at the presidential elections from 50 to 25%. Valerian Tulgara, presenting a report on this issue, said that the president is the head of state and guarantor of executing the constitution, implements a number of important functions and defines, among other things, the basics of domestic and foreign policy, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and arbiter in relations between various public bodies, therefore such an important post cannot be held by the person who has been elected by less than 50% of population.


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