ZAGREB, November 16, 2018 – The government on Friday sent to the parliament a new bill on financing of political activities such as election and referendum campaigns and similar activities.
Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević said that it had been established that the existing legislation had a number of deficiencies and shortcomings that affect the transparent performance of political activities and therefore the government was sending a completely new bill to parliament.
The new legislation defines for the first time what referendum activities are, and envisages the introduction of an information technology system for monitoring the funding. For that purpose, those involved in political activities are expected to submit financial reports to the State Election System.
The new legislation defines the criteria for determining the amount of funds which local authorities are supposed to set aside for annual financing of political parties. It will also regulate in a more equitable fashion the distribution of budget funds to political parties, Kuščević said.
The funds will be distributed based in the number of seats in the parliament and assemblies at local levels, considering the final results of the elections, he said. Currently, the money is distributed according to the state of affairs when legislatures are inaugurated.
The parliament and local assemblies will have the duty to present reports on the financing of political parties and independent political representatives annually.
The donations exceeding 5,000 kuna will require the conclusion of agreements between donors and donation recipients.
The upper limit for permissible costs in a campaign per slate in the election for the European Parliament will be increased from the current upper amount of 1.5 million kuna to 4 million kuna, which, Kuščević said, is half the amount of the permissible funds in the presidential election campaign.
The money to which an independent lawmaker or local councillor is entitled will be granted to the political party they join, which will put an end to the practice of giving the money directly to lawmakers or local councillors even after they become members of parties.
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