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The Parliament voted in the final reading for the draft law on the return of TRM under parliamentary control

04 November 2021
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The draft law on the return of Teleradio-Moldova (TRM) company under parliamentary control and on new mechanisms for appointing the members of the Supervisory Board and the Broadcasting Council has been voted in the final reading. At the November 4 plenary meeting of the Parliament, 56 MPs voted for the initiative, and 21 voted against it. The legislative initiative belongs to a group of MPs from the faction of the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS).

The head of the Parliamentary Commission on Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sports and the Media, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei noted that the MP Virgiliu Pâslariuc registered two amendments to the draft law, one of which he withdrew in the meantime. She also pointed out that the document had been discussed in public consultations with the representatives of media service providers and the civil society. “Following the amendments, objections and proposals accepted in the commission, the draft law was edited,” the MP said.

In the initial version of the draft law, the MPs proposed to have the terms of office of all members of the Supervisory and Development Board, the general director of Teleradio-Moldova and deputy general directors cease when this law enters into force. The amendment of Virgiliu Pâslariuc, published on the website of the Parliament, proposes that deputy general directors be excluded from this article. The amendment also says that the general director of TRM shall be in office until the appointment of his successor, and the deputy general directors – until the appointment of the new general director.

According to the amendment, it is proposed to exclude from the draft law the requirement for the membership of the TRM’s Supervisory and Development Board (SDB) to be accessible to persons who were not members of the Board of Observers and/or the Broadcasting Coordinating Council and/or the Broadcasting Council during the last six years. This paragraph is supplemented by the proposal that members should not be prohibited to hold a public office by an act of the National Integrity Authority (NIA).

The MP also proposed that the Supervisory and Development Board should consist of four members proposed by representative civil society organizations, and not two, as stipulated in the first version. At the same time, two candidates that could be proposed by the Government and the president were excluded. In addition, the SDB will be able to propose to the Parliament the dismissal of the TRM’s general director if it finds improper performance or non-performance of duties.

Regarding the dismissal of SDB members in the event of rejection of the annual activity report by the Parliament, it is proposed that, by way of derogation from this provision, the SDB member appointed in the year of submission of the activity report cannot be dismissed.

Some amendments were proposed for the composition of the BC, too. Thus, the requirements for those who run for BC membership were supplemented by the obligation for the person not be prohibited to hold a public office by an act of the NIA. It is also proposed that the president and vice-president of the BC should be elected by the secret vote of at least five members of the BC, and not six, as it is now. And their dismissal can occur with the vote of at least five members instead of six.

In terms of organization and functioning of the BC, it is proposed that its meetings be considered deliberative with the presence of at least five members (six now), and its decisions can be adopted with the vote of at least four persons (five now).

Like with the SB, members of the BC can be dismissed if the Parliament rejects the BC’s annual activity report. According to the amendment of Virgiliu Pâslariuc, it is proposed that, by way of derogation from the provisions of the relevant article, no BC member appointed in the year of submission of the activity report can be dismissed.

The draft law providing for the return of the Teleradio-Moldova Company under parliamentary control was voted in the first reading on October 21. The authors of the initiative propose that the general director of TRM be appointed by the Parliament, at the proposal of the Supervisory and Development Board (the new name of the Supervisory Board). At the same time, the authors want the MPs to be able to dismiss the general director of TRM “if they find improper performance or non-performance of his duties.” The legislators also propose the terms of office of the current SB members, the general director and deputy directors of TRM to cease when the initiative enters into force.