Kosovo: CRINIS – Shining a light on money in politics
With the law on political party financing becoming effective as of today, the Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) has launched its new project "CRINIS index” aiming to “shine a light on money in politics”.
The project has two components which are:
- Assessment of the legal basis and practices related to transparency in the financing of political parties
- Advocacy, on the basis of the results gained through the research, to stimulate reforms to improve the legal basis and practices in the financing of the political parties. “CRINIS” focuses on two types of political financing: 1. Regular or annual funding of political parties (non-electoral funding), and 2. Funding of elections campaigns.
Part of this project is also to monitor the expenditures during the election campaigns for legislative elections. The monitoring will be focused on expenses that political parties make in advertisements (electronic and written media), organisation of campaign events during the elections, and all other spending related to promotional activities of political parties.
This project of KDI is realised in co-operation with the Transparency International (TI) secretariat in Berlin, and together with its chapters, including TI-Albania, TI-Croatia, Transparency Zero Corruption - Macedonia, and T-Serbia.
Merita Mustafa, Programme Manager of this project, said that; “even with a solid legislation existing that obliges political parties to report their annual finances and their campaign expenses in Kosovo, sources of funding of political parties often remain unknown, especially when looking at the funding of big parties." Political parties in Kosovo have always been a subject to penalties by the relevant oversight bodies, and these penalties were only paid in the last minute, said Mustafa.
Meanwhile, according to the KDI’s researches, the lack of transparency in the funding of political parties is also an issue within the political parties themselves where other party members do not posses any information on the origin of the funding and how these funds are spent.
Transparency International's "Global Corruption Barometer" identified the political parties among the most corrupted institutions in the country. In 2007 they were listed in the first place being the most corrupted institutions in Kosovo, and in 2009 they were ranked second, with the same grade as in the previous assessment which was 3.8 (level 5 showing extreme corruption).
KDI calls upon all political parties to be transparent with regards to their funding, and uphold the law becoming effective as of today. Starting now, political parties will be monitored by the KDI in terms of transparency in their funding.
Finally, what should be noted it is also the lack of readiness of the Central Election Commission (CEC) to provide information on issues related to financing of political parties, a right that is guaranteed by the Law on Access to Official Documents, and the Law on General Elections in the Republic of Kosovo (Article 43).
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