A warning measure imposed to a city official due to public officials’ campaigning

The Anti-Corruption Agency  imposed a warning measure to Andreja Mladenović because he conducted a public officials’ campaign and abused his position of a Deputy Mayor for promotion of the election list where he was a candidate. The Agency submitted to the competent Misdemeanour Court in Mladenovac a request for initiation of misdemeanour proceedings against Andreja Mladenović.

The Agency initiated proceedings following the CRTA complaint. Out of 26 complaints regarding officials’ campaigning and the abuse of public resources that the organisation CRTA had filed during the 2017 and 2018 election cycles, this is the first time that the Agency has initiated proceedings and imposed a measure to a public official.

“Although the Belgrade elections have long ended and the Agency’s decision is belated, it is nevertheless an important warning to all public officials that they should not abuse this function for party promotion during the election campaign. We welcome the decision of the Agency, but we also urge it to initiate timely proceedings in the future and to impose measures during the election period and hence protect the interests of the public”, said Raša Nedeljkov, the CRTA programme director.

While visiting the reconstruction works in the Mladenovac museum on February 12th 2018, Andreja Mladenović did not point out, although the Law obligate public officials to do so, whether he was expressing his attitudes in capacity of the Deputy Mayor or of a candidate of an electoral list. The Anti-Corruption Agency Act explicitly forbids that a public official uses public resources, gatherings they attend and meetings they engage in their capacity of public officials for promotion of political entities. For this violation of the Law, a fine of 50 to 150 thousand dinars can be envisaged, with the possibility of imposing a ban on performing certain activities for a period of up to one year.

Incidentally, the public officials’ campaign has become one of the main characteristics of election campaigns. The campaign for the Belgrade elections, although they were held at a local level, corresponded to the election atmosphere of the last national elections when it comes to mobilised resources, national media attention and public officials’ engagement in the campaigning. The CRTA had assessed that in the Belgrade election campaign there was an increase in cases of abuse of public office and public resources.

This is why the CRTA  proposed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Agency Act so that all public officials are forbidden to participate in public gatherings whose primary objective is to announce the commencement of works or the commissioning of facilities built from budgetary resources or public funds.

You can read here .the complete report on the election process quality regarding the 2018 Belgrade elections.