CRTA filed criminal charges following the elections in Lučani
The organisation CRTA filed criminal charges against accountable persons in 11 public authorities and companies from Novi Sad, Pančevo, Vrbas, Vršac, Šid and Ivanjica, the vehicles of which were present in Lučani during local elections held on December 18th 2018. The charges were filed to competent prosecutors’ offices regarding the criminal offence against official duty – abuse of office of an accountable person pursuant to article 227 of the Criminal Code.
The following public authorities and companies are concerned: District Heating Company (Toplana) Novi Sad, JKP Lisje, the City of Novi Sad, Public Utility Company Hygiene (Čistoća) Novi Sad, Public Company City Transport (Gradsko saobraćajno) Novi Sad, City Administration of Pančevo, Public Utility Company Drugi oktobar Vršac, Agricultural Expert Service (Poljoprivredna stručna služba) Vrbas, Municipal Administration of the Municipality of Šid, Sports Association of the Municipality of Šid, Public Utility Company Ivanjica. As it was highly unlikely that activities of these companies and their vehicles were necessary on the Election Day in Lučani, there was a reasonable doubt that accountable persons abused public resources and inflicted material damages to these companies in an unknown amount.
The CRTA election observation mission monitored local elections in the Municipality of Lučani in all 43 polling stations. The CRTA mobile teams monitored the atmosphere and the events outside polling stations and noted more than 200 vehicles with licence plates outside Lučani, as well as cars without licence plates. Vehicles were cruising around and stood for a while in front of nearly all polling stations, whereas unidentified persons in these vehicles communicated with voters and with polling station committees’ members.
THE CRTA RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREVENTION OF THE ABUSE OF PUBLIC RESOURCES IN THE CAMPAIGN
- Through amendments to the Anti-Corruption Agency Act, it is imperative to define more precisely the notion of public resources and adequate sanctions in cases of their abuse in the campaign.
- Through amendments to the Law on Public Companies, sanctions should be foreseen for political entities and accountable persons in public companies that use the property, activity, name and visual identity of a public company for political purposes.
- Through amendments to the Anti-Corruption Agency Act, forbid extraordinary attribution of budgetary and other public resources during the electoral campaign, as well as in the period of 30 days before and after the campaign.
- Through amendments to the Anti-Corruption Agency Act, it is necessary to forbid all public officials to participate in activities that might be abused for campaigning purposes.