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Serbia’s Republic Election Committee has to perform to its legal obligation and not ask for excuses

Transparency – Serbia evaluates the claims of a Republic Election Committee (REC) official saying that „there is no sanction“ for election participants who didn't submit reports on campaign financing, and that the „REC can only note in its report that they haven't performed that duty“, as incorrect.

On the contrary sanctions do exist. They are quite precisely determined in article 19, paragraph 1, clausal 4 of the Law on Financing of Political Parties. It is not only punishable to not submit reports within the ten days deadline of the electoral campaign ending, but also to submit reports which aren't in accordance with the law and the Ministry of Finance’s Rulebook regulating content and way of completing reports on campaign financing.

In such cases fines could be brought as a misdemeanor procedure. The REC (as the institution in charge to revise campaign finance reports) and relevant municipal public prosecutors are authorized to lead such procedures. Until now these procedures, besides numerous doubts in the accuracy of reports and the regularity of campaign financing, have never been lead, precisely because of the inactivity of the responsible organs.

In a situation when even officials of the REC insufficiently know the provisions of the Law on Financing of Political Parties, that they should control, it is hard to hope that such control could bring any result. It is even harder to resist the impression that conscious neglecting of its duties might be involved, aimed to protect interests of those who disregard the rules on campaign financing.

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