Transparency International urges the Parliament of Montenegro not to vote on the dismissal of Vanja Ćalović Marković, executive director of MANS, our Montenigrin chapter, from the Council of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption until the national court has reached its verdict on her case.
Allegations of conflict of interest against Ćalović Marković are currently being disputed in a national court. Instead of waiting for the trial to move forward, however, the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Committee yesterday proposed that Parliament vote on Ćalović Marković’s dismissal from the Agency’s Council.
Transparency International notes that, to date, contrary to procedure, Ćalović Marković has not been given an opportunity to respond to allegations made against her in the agency’s decision for her dismissal. In further violation of procedure, the gency’s assistant director, not its director, has brought the case forward.
Transparency International further notes that in its Montenegro Country Report 2018, the European Commission raised concerns over the independence of Montenegro’s anti-corruption agency, citing “personal ties between its management and the political elite.”
Removing one of the most prominent anti-corruption activists in the country from the council of the agency will not contribute to overall efforts to reduce corruption, which is one of the key preconditions for Montenegro’s accession to the EU.
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