#02 PREVENT ABUSES IN ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING
By accepting the Copenhagen Document, the state undertook to provide the necessary legal guarantees that would enable political parties and organisations to compete with each other on a basis of equal treatment before the law and by authorities (CD 7.6). The Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice states that the financing of political parties, candidates and election campaigns must be transparent
(VC I.2.3.d), and that the principle of equality may sometimes lead to a limit on funding for political parties. (I.2.3.e). In order for these standards to be met, it is necessary to undertake the following:
a. Forbid the use of funds for the regular operation of political entities for the purposes of the election campaign
Amendments to the Law on Financing Political Activities from 2014 enabled political entities to use the funds they receive for their regular work for election campaign expenses. In this way, the possibility was introduced to use taxpayers’ funds for a purpose other than initial. In addition, this legal possibility leads to inequality of political entities and the creation of large differences and gaps between political parties that have many years of experience in the Assembly, and newly formed groups of citizens and other political entities that do not have their representatives in the Assembly. Therefore, it is necessary to delete the provision from the Law on Financing Political Activities that allows spending funds intended for regular work to finance the campaign. (deletion of article 24, paragraph 4)
b. Mandatory submission of provisional reports on the cost of the election campaign during the very campaign
Amendments to the Law on Financing Political Activities should introduce the obligation of political entities to submit interim statements to the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption during the campaign. Since according to current regulations, political entities have only the obligation to submit reports 30 days after the end of the election, citizens are not allowed to get acquainted, in a transparent way, with the costs of political entities during the campaign but only after the election process. In the suggested way, political entities would submit to the Anti-Corruption Agency interim statements that the Agency would publish on its website.