Slightly more than half of the registered political parties in Serbia have fulfilled their obligation of submitting an annual financial statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency by mid-April, NGO Transparency Serbia announced. Practically all the parties from the previous parliament have done that, whereas it was mostly groups of citizens and minority parties that have not fulfilled that obligation. More from Jelena Simić.
Of the 87 parties registered in Serbia, 48 have submitted the statements, while some have not fulfilled their obligation of publishing the statement on their website. The programme director of Transparency Serbia, Nemanja Nenadić, said that the statements mostly showed a balanced differences between incomes and expenditures. More than 70% of all the expenses came from the budget and the amount is expected to be twice as high by 2013 due to amendments to the Law on Political Party Financing. Such a thing is not in accordance with EU standards, which stipulate a balance between public (budget) and private incomes, said Nenadić.
The director of Transparency Serbia, Vladimir Goati, said that what is disputable was the fact that the amendments to the Law on Political Party Financing envisage much larger amounts for political parties. Such a decision was made without consultations with the civilian sector, trade unions and citizens, in the conditions of a deep economic crisis at that, said Goati. The dominant budget financing of parties is very dangerous for democracy as well, since, in that way, parties tend to lose interest in membership and membership fees, said Goati. It is thus that parties within parties are formed – separate groups closer to the party’s head, who decides on the deployment of officials to certain positions, emphasized Goati.