Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency Zorana Markovic assessed that the May 6 election campaign was less dirty trick and less expensive compared to the earlier elections. She reminded that the Agency will receive campaign finance reports from political parties that will be published 30 days after the announcement of the final election results.
The preliminary results of the election monitoring activities have shown that up to 10 days ago, the campaign was almost imperceptible, focusing primarily on media promotion, that is, advertising costs, preparation of brochures and other promotional material that appear in the media. Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency Zorana Markovic said that during the campaign, a large number of billboards has been seen, most notably that of the Democratic League of Social Democrats from Vojvodina with 19 different billboards throughout Vojvodina. Markovic noted that the campaign included many city walks, candidates’ direct contact with citizens. There were not many rallies and conferences like before. However, she notes that as far as media is concerned, advertising was not insignificant either.
This year, parties, most notably the Democratic Party and the Serbian Progressive Party, have focused on the internet campaign primarily through social networks as well as internet itself, Markovic said.
She added that in order to control the Report better, the Agency hired election observers to monitor the volume of each party’s activities, rather than to monitor activities of parties. According to the Law on financing political activities, the Agency has the power to seek financial reports on specific activities during the campaign, said Markovic, adding it was done in three cases - when the former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani visited Belgrade at the invitation of the Serbian Progressive Party, and when presidential candidate Boris Tadic and Zoran Stankovic travelled to the German city of Hanover and Denmark respectively. The Agency wants to know whether they travelled to those countries as government officials or in any other capacity. At the same time, it was observed that the campaign was less dirty trick as much less half-truths and uncorroborated facts were presented, but it was more negative because candidates use information to point out failures of their opponents, Markovic concluded.