Insufficient legal improvements to prevent a public officials’ campaign

By adopting amendments to the Law on Prevention of Corruption, the Anti-Corruption Agency Act and the Law on Financing Political Activities, the National Assembly missed the opportunity to contribute to a more efficient prevention of public officials’ campaigning. The MPs did not adopt an amendment, submitted on the CRTA’s initiative which would prohibit public officials from participating in the promotion of the results of work of public authorities, such as commencement or completions of construction works on the infrastructure and similar projects, financed from the state funds.

Drawing on the results of the election observation and the OSCE / ODIHR recommendations, the CRTA has long pointed to the fact that a vague distinction between state duties and party activities is one of the key problems in the election process in Serbia. For years, election campaigns have been marked by ribbon-cutting ceremonies where state officials celebrated commissioning of highways sections or installing of new lifts, prompting voters to vote for political options to which those officials belong.

However, a positive move has been made since an amendment also submitted on the CRTA’s initiative was adopted, obliging the Anti-Corruption Agency to decide within 5 days on potential cases of misuse of public resources and public officials’ campaigning.