Business Joomla Themes by Justhost Reviews

The government in functionary campaign for the elections in Kosjeric and Zajecar

Zajecar and Kosjeric, where local elections are being held on Sunday, have been visited 17 times by top state officials during the last month, while in the last four years, the officials visited these two towns 22 times. This means that, starting from 27 February and first ministerial visit during the current campaign, the frequency of top officials’ visits to Zajecar and Kosjeric until today was 37.6 times more recurrent than between the votes.

Such a drastic difference, as well as the fact that local leaders who are fighting for the mandate renewal in these elections were promoted through these activities, clearly proves that it is only seemingly a matter of "performing regular activities", and in fact it is a functionary campaign.

Transparency Serbia has been warning for years about the "functionary campaign" when state officials participate in local events organized exclusively for the purpose of media promotion, and not for an urgent need of the local community.

Ministerial visits to local government leaders, contract signing, factory visits and investment announcements are not prohibited during the election campaign, unless party symbols are used, but in practice voters associate officials with the parties they represent, thus gaining much greater media promotion. from the one they would have had if they had paid for advertising or that they have in the electoral blocs.

The visits by ministers to local administrations’ officials, signing contracts, touring factories and announcing new investments are not banned activities unless the parties’ symbols are used. In practice, however, voters associate officials with the parties they represent. That gives those parties significantly higher media promotion than they would get through paid advertising or electoral blocks. 

Transparency Serbia reminds that the opportunity to adopt rules that would limit the possibilities for conducting a "functionary campaign" was missed during the process of adoption of the current Law on Prevention of Corruption, as well as during the amendments to the law after the last year's dialogue on election conditions. TS made concrete proposals in that direction at the time.[1] Unwillingness to solve this problem makes the "functionary campaign" one of the most common forms of using public resources for political promotion, both in national and local elections. Therefore, our proposals should be taken into account when considering the way in which Serbia should act on the recommendations of the ODIHR.[2]

Belgrade, 24 March 2021.


[1]; longer version, in Serbian -