The State Election Commissioner, Mr. Ilirjan Celibashi attended the conference “Transparent Wallet: The Advancement of Political Financing” organized by the American Democratic Institute in Kosova. This event marks the launch of the “Zero Corruption” campaign. This conference was attended by representatives from institutions and non-governmental organizations from Germany, the Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Albania and Serbia, representatives of parliamentary political subjects in Kosova, local civil society organizations, media and diplomatic missions.
At the opening of the conference, the Executive Director of KDI, Mr. Ismet Kryeziu, highlighted the need to address the issues of financing non-parliamentary subjects, candidates, the gender budget inside political parties and the role of donors in policy-making. Mrs. Marta Onorato from the International Republican Institute (IRI) expressed concern about the low level of trust in political parties in Kosova, stating that 55% of citizens do not trust political subjects.
Mr. Eugen Cakolli from KDI, shared an analysis on transparency and financial accountability of political subjects. He emphasized the lack of substantial changes after the entry into force of the new law on political financing.
In the panel of political subjects, MP Eliza Hoxha from PDK underlined the importance of clear legal regulations regarding the financing and categorization of expenses. MP Armend Zemaj from LDK appreciated the progress, but added that a greater focus is needed on external financing and criticized the expenses of online campaigns. MP Besnik Tahiri from AAK called for regulation in the financing of candidates and categorization of party expenses.
In the second panel, representatives from Transparency International and the Director of the Office for Financial Control in Kosova discussed the international practices of monitoring and financial control of political subjects. The findings showed challenges in financial control, including the lack of reporting by some political parties.
The third panel, “The role of election management bodies in increasing political integrity regarding the financing of political subjects,” shared the experiences from Albania, North Macedonia and Kosova. Mr. Ilirjan Celibashi, from the State Election Commission in Albania introduced the regulatory framework and financial reporting platform. Mr. Ditmire Shehu from North Macedonia appraised the financing by public budget, while Mr. Kreshnik Radoniqi from Kosova pointed out the need to have a consolidated regulation inside the country.
The conference reflected on the issues and challenges to improve financial transparency and accountability in Kosova politics.