Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) / Transparency International Kosova (TIK) organized a roundtable discussion with local officials from different political parties, representatives of civil society and citizens from Gjakova entitled "Transparency in political party financing ". In this debate, KDI representatives presented some of the main problems regarding political parties’ lack of transparency in their funding.
The purpose of this workshop was to better understand the problems and eventually find alternatives that would increase transparency in the funding of political parties through the involvement of members of the local party branches. In this debate, it was estimated that local branch funding of political parties face many challenges and difficulties due to the lack of adequate regulations and loopholes in the existing laws. Some of the problems that were mentioned were: lack of distribution of funds from the head office of political parties to their local branches, the lack of cooperation between the head office and their local branches, the reluctance of donors from private companies to donate funds due to the informal economy and the lack of long-term funding from membership.
Teki Dubroshi from Self-Determination movement said that "when businesses provide funds they are reluctant to give us their fiscal number", which means that they prefer to remain anonymous. While Bahri Bokshi from the Party of Justice stated that "the party branches should be involved and funded by the head office, because if the local party branches do not receive funding from their head office, they will be more prone to breaking the laws and regulations on the financing of political parties because their financial means are limited.
Gazmend Hoxha party member of AAK stated that “local branches cannot survive only from membership fees.” Agim Koci, vice president of AAK in Gjakovë mentioned alternatives to increase transparency in the disclosure of donations; one of them was the relaxing of restrictions for donations from private companies, so that they do not hesitate to give their names.
Based on the discussions in this roundtable debate, KDI estimates that most of the political parties do not have democracy within, in particular when it comes to their finances, where the local branches are not at all involved in decisions that their head offices make.
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Merita Mustafa, Program Manager