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Moldova: Legislators to Be Fined for Being AWOL

(Apr. 2, 2012) In October 2011, according to an initiative of the ruling coalition, the Parliament of Moldova amended its own Rules of Internal Procedure (Reglament) and established that legislators will be fined if they are absent from the Parliament's plenary sessions or committee meetings without a valid excuse. A fine will be imposed based on the amount of the hourly rate of the legislators' salary and will be withheld from the Member's pay check automatically. Official boycott of parliamentary activities, even if conducted according to a decision of the political party represented in the legislature, is not considered a valid excuse and will be a subject to the same penalty.

The Communist party strongly opposed this proposal and insisted that boycotting of parliamentary meetings is a form of legislative activity and another way to express opposition to legislation under consideration. Communist party members, who often boycott discussions in Moldova's Parliament, said that they are going to challenge the constitutionality of this measure as violating human rights. It is expected that the proceeds from the fines will be used to support retirement homes and other social programs. (V Moldove Vvodiatsia Denezhnye Sanktsiiza Nemotivirovannoe Otsutstvie Deputatov na Zasedaniiakh Parlamenta (Monetary Sanctions Will Apply to MPs for Unexcused Absence) [in Russian], INTERLIC (Oct. 1, 2011).)