Efim Obreja, Legal Expert, Transparency International – Moldova - Political funding regulation versus political corruption prevention
Political funding regulation versus political corruption prevention April 27 , 2010 This document has been translated with the financial assistance of the European Union, within the framework of a joint project of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the European Commission. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, nor do they necessarily reflect the policy and position of the OSCE ODIHR. Efim Obreja MOLDOVA
Democracy- political pluralism . There is no democracy without political parties . Political parties : “ generators ” of state leaders, parliamentarians, mayors, local elected officials . Political parties : - to establish a rule-of-law, democratic state ; - to function correctly, transparently, responsibly . Without funding : - political parties are not able to exist and operate ; - democracy cannot exist . Funding of political parties – funding of democracy .
Political corruption is the corruption manifested by: - political parties ; - candidates to elections ; - politicians as state or government leaders ; - parliamentarians ; - mayors, local elected officials ; - leaders and responsible persons of central and local public authorities. Political corruption is manifested by : - position abuses ; - theft of public resources ; - funds embezzlement ; - unlawful use of public goods ; - lobbyism ; - active and passive corruption ; - protectionism ; - illicit enrichment .
BGC 2009: 69 state s RM Political parties 3.9 3.6 Public agents 3.8 3.6 Parliament 3.7 3.4 Private Sector 3.5 3.7 Justice 3.5 3.7 Media 3.2 3.1
Political corruption or corruption of political parties is called : - top corruption ( manifested by high position officials ); - large corruption ( may arise in exceptionally large proportions and generate extremely serious consequences for society ). Consequences of political corruption : - causing considerable damage to the state by resources laundering ; - impoverishment of population ; - undermining the democratic principles of state . Fair system of political funding : - influences accurate functioning of democracy ; - basic measure of political corruption prevention . Political funding : attractive target for political corruption .
Corruption within political funding : - abuse of public means or administrative resources ; - theft or embezzlement of public resources ; - offering of personal donations in order to advance on hierarchical steps of the party ; - purchase of seats on lists of the candidate party in elections ; - funding from sources prohibited by law, anonymous or secret ; - funding from illegal sources, of criminal provenance ; - funding in exchange of facility attainment from politicians ; - abuse of public mass-media resources ; - use of donations for attainment of illegal political benefits; - attainment of funds through extortion, intimidation, blackmail ; - purchase of electors’ votes ; - use of information on funding in order to clean the slate with donors of political opposition .
Funding system of political parties and election campaigns reflect its capacity : - to appoint in public elective positions conscientious and honest persons ; - to prevent political corruption . Fair system of political funding has to include : - public funding of political parties and election campaigns ; - limiting donations ; - limiting election campaign expenditure ; - ensuring transparency of funding sources ; - monitoring of political funding ; - established rules/norms to be clear and concrete ; - ensuring abidance and application of norms in practice (implementation mechanisms, responsibilities and sanctions ).
Funds, within their appropriate use, as programs of candidates, are able to influence expression of vote by electors, election results . United Nations Convention against corruption (New York, 31.10.2003); Resolution (97) 24 of Committee of Ministers having as a subject the 20 guiding principles on fight against corruption (06.11.1997); Recommendation (2003) 4 on general rules against corruption in funding of political parties and election campaigns of Committee of Ministers for member states, Council of Europe , 08.04.2003.
<ul><li>Law on political parties No . 294 of 21.12.2007 </li></ul><ul><li>The notion “political parties” is incorrect, based on an outdated concept. </li></ul><ul><li>Art.1 item .1): “ Political parties are free-will associations, having legal entity status, constituted by RM citizens with the right to vote, whom, by common activities and based on principle of free participation, contribute to conception, expression and realization of their political will ” . </li></ul><ul><li>Art.17 item .1): “ Parties operate within achieving their political will that is expressed in their charters and programs ...”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Political party ” is a gathering of citizens seeking political purposes, meaning the purpose to participate within management of public affairs . </li></ul>
Funding of political parties from public resources : - direct funding ; - indirect funding . Fiscal Code does not stipulate any fiscal facilities regarding donations. In Canada, there are granted fiscal facilities up to 650 dollars to persons having offered political contributions : 75% for contributions < 4 00 dollars ; 50%; 33.3%. France , German y , Netherlands .
Law on political parties No . 294 of 21.12.2007 Art.26 item .3): “... Donations from a physical person ... cannot exceed 500 average monthly salaries on national economy ...”; Art.26 item .4): “... Donations from a legal entity ... cannot exceed 1000 average monthly salaries ...”. Year 2009 ( average monthly salary 3140 lei): 500 average monthly salaries – 1.57 mil.lei (95000 euro); 1000 average monthly salaries – 3.14 mil.lei (190000 euro). Cover limit of resources for April 5, 2009 – 12 mil.lei; Cover limit of resources for July 29 , l 2009 – 7 mil.lei; I n 2009 – donations were up to 1.5 mil.lei from a limited number of persons . In State of Rhode Island, USA – 1000 dollars . I n Canada – 5000 dollars . For RM, maximum limit of donations could be 750 u.c. (15000 lei).
Law on political parties No . 294 of 21.12.2007 Art.26 item .5): “ Direct and indirect funding, material support under any form of political parties ... by citizens of RM ... being abroad ... is prohibited ”. Lacks , imperfections : - indirect funding ; - limitation and leading track of expenditure within campaign; - supervision of political funding ; - independent supervisory body and its attributions . - responsibilities and sanctions ; - challenge .
CEC (Central Election Commission) , potential attributions : - budget proposals, funding of political parties ; - supervision of funding sources, limits of donations, leading track of donations, leading track of expenditure, limits of expenditure, keeping of accounting records, preparation, presentation and publication of financial reports ; - developing reporting forms and procedures ; - training of financial agents ; - analysis of financial reports ; - audit disposal ; - presentation for Parliament of report on funding ; - receiving and reviewing complaints ; - bringing to court and examination of litigations ; - enforcement of disciplinary sanctions ; - collaboration with CC, financial control, OAI (Internal Affairs Body), Broadcasting Coordinating Council, CCCEC (Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption of the Republic of Moldova) , Prosecutor’s Office ; - collaboration with civil society , mass-media;
<ul><li>Responsibilities, sanctions . Administrativ e : </li></ul><ul><li>- failure to submit financial reports within set deadlines ; </li></ul><ul><li>- Failure to publish financial reports, publication exceeding deadlines, publication of incomplete reports ; </li></ul><ul><li>- CEC’s failure to publish political funding evaluation and supervision reports ; </li></ul><ul><li>Solicitation from mass-media of some payments for electoral advertising that exceed minimum tariffs requested from an individual for an equivalent space and time ; </li></ul><ul><li>acceptance of donations exceeding maximum limit from one source, withholding and failure to return them in due time ; </li></ul><ul><li>exceeding limits of electoral expenditure (an amount of up to ... lei); </li></ul><ul><li>breach of rules on donations regime by the donors ; </li></ul><ul><li>failure to publish information on donor’s identity ; </li></ul><ul><li>acceptance of donations without issuing justificatory documents ; </li></ul><ul><li>limitation of donors’ right to support by political contributions . </li></ul>
Responsibilities, sanctions . Criminal : - Funding of parties, opponents from illegal or prohibited sources ; - Support by donations with elusion of legal ways of funding and failure to register donations ; - Falsification of justificatory documents regarding donations ; - Support by donations or acceptance of donations exceeding maximum limit form one source (a value exceeding … lei) and failure to return donations in due time ; - Attainment of donations by extortion, threatening, intimidation, violence ; - Exceeding established limits for electoral expenditure ( an amount larger than ... lei); - Performance of unauthorized or prohibited expenditure by parties, opponents ; - Presentation of false financial reports (by falsifying accountancy documents or failure to register necessary documents, with values deliberately diminished ); - Embezzlement of resources or funds ;
<ul><li>Responsibilities, sanctions . Penal : </li></ul><ul><li>Illicit use of goods by a public agent ; </li></ul><ul><li>Signing of a funding agreement of party, opponent, in exchange of attainment by donors of some illegal economic advantages ; </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase of electors’ votes, meaning bribery, directly or indirectly, in order to incite electors to vote or to restrain from voting or to vote either to restrain from voting for a certain candidate ; </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of bribe by an elector within period of electoral campaign, offered by political parties, electoral opponents or their representatives, in order to vote or to restrain from voting or to vote either to restrain from voting for a certain candidate ; </li></ul><ul><li>- threatening, intimidation or clearing the slate with donors . </li></ul>