Public is best controller of election campaign financing

Zagreb, 19.04.2013 - Predsjednik Odbora za Ustav, Poslovnik i politièki sustav Sabora Peða Grbin i predsjednik TIH-a Nikola Kristiæ tijekom okruglog stola "Kako kontrolirati financiranje predizbornih kampanja" u organizaciji Transparency International Hrvatska (TIH). foto FaH/ Damir SENÈAR /ds

Croatia has one of the best legislative frameworks to control election campaigning but it is still necessary to better apply the legislation which is why government bodies and nongovernmental organisations and especially citizens are urged to take more effort in this regard, a round table discussion titled “How to control election campaign financing” organised by the Croatian Transparency International (TIH) NGO heard on Friday.

It is vital for the public to control money flows during election campaigns. TIH president Nikola Kristic said, explaining that transparency in money flows is the chief pre-condition for fair elections.

The public’s trust in political parties today is at a record low and the general opinion is that whoever finances political parties has influence over key decisions made by public authorities. That is why it is necessary for NGOs along with citizens to monitor possible deviations.

It is necessary for citizens to ask where the money to finance election campaigns comes from and that they should not vote for those who cannot show who is financing them, the discussion heard.

At the coming local election, legislation requires every party, every candidate and every coalition to open a separate account for this purpose which should facilitate better supervision of financing.