CIK Punished Political Parties

In mid-December, the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CIK) fined 28 political parties for violations of the Law on Financing of Political Parties during 2008. They will have to pay fines between 1,000 KM and 7,000 KM.

The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) is the strongest party on the list.

“SDA must pay 6,000 KM for improper recording of costs of services, lack of reporting of debts for renting of government offices in BiH, as well as revenue and debts to private companies,” said CIK spokesperson Maksida Bajramović.

Bajramović said that Sarajevo Canton Board of SDA failed to account for expenses stemming from its business relation with Peskara Cooperative. SDA was also punished for failing to account in its financial reports for free space owned by the Federation of BiH in Tito’s street in Sarajevo.

In August and September, the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published stories about the business relations between SDA and Peskara and how parties were using rent-free offices. SDA HQ has not paid rent for offices in Maršala Tita 9 in Sarajevo, owned by the FBiH, for years.

‘“SDA violated the Law by failing to account for 57.321 KM combined of Peskara bills. The Cantonal Court in Sarajevo erased Peskara Cooperative on January 19, 2005.,” said Bajramović.

The auditors revisited the party’s financial books after CIN reporters asked them this Spring to take a look at Peskara invoices paid by SDA.

CIN investigation revealed that SDA paid gofers, drivers, coffee caterers, and students via Peskara Cooperative for three years after the Sarajevo Municipal Court erased the firm from the register.

CIN reporters investigated where the money went from one of 13 invoices which the Sarajevo Canton Board of SDA wired to Peskara in 2008. The invoice was in the name of four students that Peskara hired to do odd jobs for the party. They were each to be paid around 1,000 KM. One of them said that the has neither received money from SDA, nor that he worked for the party, while the other confirmed that he did work for the party, but he could not remember the sum he was paid.