After the start of the election campaign the People’s Party through Work to Betterment has placed posters near those of the FBiH Ministry of Agriculture. Photo: CIN
Transparency International (TI) Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) filed a criminal complaint with the Central Election Commission against People’s Party Through Work to Betterment, charging violation of the BiH Law on Financing of Political Parties.
This non-governmental organization said in a statement that the campaign “Buy Local“ financed by the Federation of BiH Ministry of Agriculture was used to promote Jerko Ivanković Lijanović and People’s Party Through Work to Betterment to which he belongs.
The campaign represents yet another example of the abuse of office in government agencies and of budget money with the goal of promoting a party and attracting votes, said TI officials.
The heart of the minister and his party’s campaign. Photo: CIN
TI BiH asked election officials to punish such abuse and call for responsibility by party leaders. It cited media headlines stating that the campaign of the Ministry of Agriculture cost around 660,000 KM.
The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) found at the beginning of August that the FBiH Ministry of Agriculture used a slogan “Buy Local – Buy with Heart”, which recalls the party’s campaign slogan “With Heart for Betterment”.
Also, CIN found that the campaign cost 671,000 KM of taxpayers’ money.
Lijanović defends the campaign and its intent. He said the ministry paid for it with money budgeted for support of agriculture and that this was in accordance with laws and regulations. “We thought that every mark invested this way was going to produce much bigger effect than giving the money directly to farmers,” Lijanović told CIN.
Posters of the “Let’s Buy Local” campaign with photos of Lijanović were placed in mid-summer near commuting stops in Sarajevo, as well as on billboards and other places for posters around the city. Since Sept. 7 and the beginning of the election campaign, next to them are placed the posters of the party Through Work to Betterment, with the slogan “Listen to your heart-save yours“.