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Yesterday’s protests by civil society organisations in Pristina against amendments to the draft law on political party financing is an important reminder of the need for real accountability, oversight, transparency and effective enforcement. Parliamentary parties should heed demands by civil society to ensure that this law is in line with Venice Commission legal opinion, and with this aim, discussed in the Ad Hoc Committee for Strengthening the Electoral Process. The EU strongly supports this. It is a key reform under the European Reform Agenda, a recommendation of the EU election observation mission and has been repeatedly highlighted in our annual Kosovo report.
The EU has raised its concerns with the Assembly and the Government, including at the recent EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Sub-Committee meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security. Attempts in the Assembly to undermine the law raise serious concerns.
The legal and institutional framework for political party financial control should adhere to high standards. The institutional structure at the heart of the legislation, namely the Office of Political Party Registration and Certification within the Central Election Commission, needs to be independent from political party representatives on the board of the CEC in the execution of their mandate, its budget and staffing, and decision-making. Such independence is fundamental to this body's proper functioning and should be strictly required by law.