The financing of political parties in Albania is regulated by law, but the local election campaign of June 2015 has indicated that the audit process of financing and expenditure declaration of political parties is reflecting gaps to the access of information of these data. In this context, on September our organization as a promoter of transparency and accountability will address the issue to the judiciary level. AIS director stated for ORA News that: “Political parties are a direct subject of the right to information, therefore is important a legal interpretation of it, in order to create a model of judicial doctrine, which clearly argues whether or not political parties are obliged by the Constitution to be subjected to the right to access of information”
In the framework of Money, Transparency and Government program, our organization, the Albanian Institute of Sciences is engaged in publishing and visualizations of the data about Electoral Financing , Transactions of the State Budget to the Political Parties, as well as the Party Donors’ List for the campaigns. Following up on this engagement, at the beginning of the electoral campaign of 2015 our organization officially addressed three of the main subjects in this campaign that is the Socialist Party, the Democratic Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration Party. Through this request we intended to inform the public in real time on the donors, amounts of funds donated and the expenses. In more specific terms, in this request we wanted them to provide us:
- The list of donors of non-public funds obtained between 21 May and 21 June 2015 and which exceed the amount of 100 000 (one hundred thousand) ALL or equivalent amount converted into services or items;
- The list of all expenses done since 21 May 2015 with annual funds received from the 2015 State Budget.
Although the request was duly sent and was duly received through official mail, we never got an answer on the subject matter of the request. Considering the Political Parties to be important public players, and the transparency with their finances of a particular importance, we have also addressed the Commissioner on the Right to Infomation and Protection of Personal Data with a complaint on the relevant subjects.
We are sending attached a copy of the official requests as well as the complaint sent to the institution.
Our request is based on article, 9, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, article 87/1, article 89 and 90 of the Electoral Code, and on law no. 119/2014 “On the Right to Information” article 2, letter c, article 3 and article 11.
Wishing to give our contribution in establishing the democratic culture of transparency, in the coming weeks or months, in cooperation with one of the best law firms in dealing with public law cases and with expertise in electoral legislation, we will address the institutions and the judiciary with the aim of getting a doctrinal interpretation and regulation of the Right to Information on Electoral Financing. Although the campaing is over, and the auditing reports of the electoral subjects may be published, we deem it appropriate to have a doctrinal interpretation of whether the political parties are subject to the right of information, as well as whether they should make publicly available in real time the data on the campaign donors and campaign expenses.
Having a high regard on the role of the traditional media in covering issues related to electoral transparency and developments, I invite you to follow up on this initiated complaint/case. Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please find attached a copy of the Complaint addressed to the Commissioner on the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data and the request addressed to the Political Subjects.
Complaint for the Commissioner of the right to information