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Friday, July 20, 2018, 

Enhanced control in party funding for corruption prevention: roundtable

Enhanced control in party funding for corruption prevention: roundtable

Skopje, 12 July 2018 (MIA) - Regulations for funding of political parties are good, but the problem lies in transparency and oversight of the process. Improvement of the situation requires strengthening of control by creating a competent institution, because party funding can be the door for the corruption's entry in the system, heard a roundtable on Thursday.

The event on improving the model for financing of political parties in Macedonia was organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Transparency International Macedonia (TIM).

TIM board chairman Slagjana Taseva said regulations clearly list the legal and illegal ways of political party funding.

"However, the control system is so fragmented that all institutions are competent and none are competent to say what are the irregularities, producing a specific decision whether irregularities have occurred," said Taseva.

According to her, the problem is funding of election campaigns and political parties by state institutions, local self-governments, but also non-transparent donations by citizens.

"Those large donors expect from the party in power to work in their interest, be it in the decision-making process, regulations, or gaining an advantage in the business operations," added Taseva.

Justice Minister Renata Deskoska agreed that the proper legislation has been set up, which has been confirmed by international organizations such as the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), but control in party funding requires increased control.

"We need to work on enhancing the mechanisms for implementation of the legal norms, because our laws clearly say which financing sources are forbidden - those coming from abroad, from state and public institutions etc," said Deskoska.

She stressed that capacity strengthening would enhance the Anti-Corruption Commission, the State Audit Office, the judiciary and the public prosecutor's office, the institutions that contribute to preventing corruption and illegal party funding.

NDI consultant Lisa Klein said the financing control is the weaker link that requires strengthening.

"Laws are good, but the problem lies in transparency and supervision. Solving the problem requires time and thorough work, step by step," said Klein. ik/12:21

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