President-elect Donald Trump, during his election campaign, spent $ 600 million, while his pro-active opponent, Hillary Clinton during the race spent more than $ 1 billion. In Macedonia, the election campaigns for candidates from the main political parties during the presidential elections in 2014, spent one million euros.
For Gjorge Ivanov’s election campaign, VMRO-DPMNE spent € 878,781 euros, which can be seen from their financial statements. Meanwhile, SDSM, spent four times less than their opponents for the presidential elections in 2014, with only € 282,193.
Presidential election 2014
VMRO – DPMNE: € 878,781 euros
SDSM: € 282,193 euros
Parliamentary elections in 2014 (total)
VMRO – DPMNE: €1.5 million
The President of “Transparency Macedonia”, Slagjana Taseva, told “Meta” that the main problem regarding the financing of election campaigns by the parties, is that the reports do not show the real picture, to be more precise, the financial statements do not show specific details in terms of how much goes in ann how much goes out.
“They spend more money than their financial statements show, and no-one knows how they’re covering their tracks. State institutions do not fully confirm whether the loans parties have borrowed are returned, whether invoices issued are paid because there have been such cases in the past. The institutions do not proceed all the way and cannot determine how they’re covering their tracks . Also, it is necessary to determine the legality of parties expenditure, not only how they are covering their discrepancies “, said Taseva.
When asked whether discrepancies are covered and reimbursed by the state based on the votes, she thinks it is not enough because the variation in the bills are too high.
Also in the financial statements of the ruling party from the parliamentary elections in 2014, only the income from membership fees were listed. In the item expenditures, they said that the most money spent was on advertising and propaganda (€ 1.2 million).
The opposition, however, only spent € 121,045 for these purposes.
Parliamentary elections in 2014 (for advertising)
VMRO – DPMNE: €1.2 million
According to an analysis conducted by the Centre for Investigative Journalism “Scoop”, the way parties advertise in the media is symptomatic. The State Audit Office found violations of the Electoral Code for political advertising in the media, because the cost of the service stated in the invoice for political advertising supplied by a broadcaster is 50% lower than the fixed price in the price list for political advertising.
Although the law is in place, there is no register or records of donations, to see who donated, and how much.
Analysts also believe that after the elections, the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has the right to inspect whether any of the donors of the winning party are awarded any business privileges because of their donation and whether any of the donors from the opposition suffered in any way.
Electoral law now allows a period of three months for parties to submit final financial reports, which also leaves enough room for “tuning”, unlike the past, when there was a one month period.