Some parties still working “illegally”

#Partije #Rad #AgencijaZaSpječavanjeKorupcije #SretenRadonjić

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Agency for corruption prevention will start control of all political subjects taking part in elections starting next week. According to director of the Agency Sreten Radonjić, they will check money transfers, and take legislative measures where possible.

Radonjić reminded that only five political subjects have met their legal requirement of opening an account so far, thus enabling the Agency complete overview of their resources, finances and expenses, Dnevne Novine daily writes.

Penalties up to 20.000 EUR

It is a curious condition that other political subjects failed to this by now. The Agency has the means to initiate infringement proceedings, and, in the event of doubt as to the existence of the elements of the crime, to notify the state authorities.

“In case of violations, penalties for political entities could be up to 20.000 EUR. The Agency will, in any case, do everything the law allows to monitor the flow of money in the campaign and take measures”, Radonjić said.

The accounts have so far been opened by DPS, Positive, Democrats, SDP and BS. Socialist People’s Party named the person responsible for their effective use. Law on Financing of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns, let’s recall, stipulates that political entities are required to open accounts to be used to monitor flows of money in the election campaign, as well as to put a person responsible for their effective use.

The Law does not provide for a deadline for taking these actions, but the accounts would certainly have to be opened by September 29th. Until this date, the Ministry of Finance and local authorities responsible for financial matters have an obligation to forward the political entities the funds intended for the financing of election campaigns. So, those who want the funds must have an open account. Unless they decide on the non-compliance of the Law and payment of fines that can be up to 20.000 EUR.

Front receives cash?

Maybe this fine is miniscule for some political subjects, such as DF, that clearly has vast resources, DN daily writes.

This can be seen by their liberal use of videos, billboards, media ads. DF said that they would have a campaign never seen before in Montenegro. Public is speculation about their money coming from abroad, and they did not deny it.

Dnevne Novine daily have information that DF met one Serbian businessman in Belgrade last month and supposedly received 300.000 EUR in cash. It was also speculated that DF negotiated with Vijesti daily, and that this newspaper allowed them space for the big amount of 500.000 EUR. No one denied these claims.

There is room for state authorities to react and start tracing DF money. Why haven’t they opened the account? Is it to hide from the authorities or to hide their sponsors?

Similar situation was happening around the referendum on May 21st 2006. Those against Montenegro’s independence, now largely members of DF, received 5.5 million EUR from Serbian businessmen.

It later became clear that most of that money was used for their personal gain. Late Slobodan Radulović left a written account of this when he sent out letter to Montenegrin Prosecution and Serbian authorities, explaining the origins of money in that campaign. However, the case never saw the courtroom.

Similar things are happening now as well. Large amounts of money are being transferred in a suspicious manner, which is reason enough for control.

Political analyst Srđan Vukadinović believes that the Agency for corruption prevention needs to start media campaign to inform the public of money paths in the electoral campaign.

“Prosecution cannot act at this time. We cannot expect resolution to investigations before October 16th, and then it would be already late. This is what certain political subject who are hiding their sponsors are counting on. It is speculated that DF receives money from Serbia and Russia, and they would probably agree to pay the fine if it meant they would avoid prosecution. The fact is that they have a lot of money, and everyone can see this. It is not hard to assume that the money is coming from those who want to change Montenegro’s status and its foreign policies. DF is working for someone else and they are getting properly paid. The Agency, along with the media, could be of vital significance. Prosecution should get involved as well, but I doubt it will have timely effect”, Vukadinović said.

160 misdemeanor procedures initiated

Representatives of OSCE, lead by Roman Jakič, visited the Agency two days ago in order to speak with director Sreten Radonjić and his associates, and to introduce them to technical, normative, and organizational resources for monitoring this year’s parliamentary elections.

Radonjić informed OSCE that he formed a team of 25 Agencies employees that will monitor the process, and that 160 misdemeanor procedures were initiated so far. It was said that only one NGO submitted over 1000 reports already, but the Agency said that they have no basis in the law.

“The Agency and OSCE agreed to continue communication and cooperation during the election process”, it was stated in the Agency.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro