Bosnian Election Campaigners Routinely Abusing Public Resources – TI

A new report by the Bosnian branch of the watchdog organisation Transparency International, based on two months of monitoring of the way political parties and candidates have operated ahead of October's general election, has registered some 1,300 examples of the abuse of public resources for poliitical purposes.

It says says 36 complaints have been sent so far to Bosnia's Central Election Commission, CEC, citing premature campaigning, violation of the Law on Financing Political Parties and abuse of public resources.

However, it adds: "The CEC rejected the first applications of TI BIH because the ban on misuse of public resources only applies to the period of the official election campaign, which starts on September 2."

The report said parties' actions taken so far will not, therefore, be sanctioned apart from eight reports relating to premature campaigning. 

Dozens of billboards with faces of election candidates have been put up, paid for by public money, the report continues, noting, for example, those promoting the director of the Drina National Park, Radomir Pavlovic, who is also running for parliament. 

Although Bosnia's 30-day long election campaign does not start until September 2, parties have long since started holding open election rallies.

"The largest number was held by the SDA," the report added, referring to the mainly Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, SDA. 

"TI BIH observers accompanied 350 public events organized by institutions, and 67 per cent were attended by candidates in the elections," the report said. 

It added: "32 events in the past two months refer to concerts organized by local communities", at which some candidates also gave political speeches and called for...

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