Still without the prerequisites for the fight against the corruption

In the capacity of members of the Working group for Chapter 23, we express our dissatisfaction with the appointment of the Council of Agency for the prevention of corruption, conducted in a manner which gravely violated the law and with an apparent intention of creating the conditions for further political control of the fight against the corruption in Montenegro. Both Government and Parliament proved that the fight against the corruption and establishment of independent institutions are still a bit too much both for the government and the opposition.

By electing this composition of the Council of Agency for the prevention of corruption, primarily the Commission for the proposal of candidates, then the Anticorruption Committee, and, finally the Parliament, violated the Articles 41 and 45 of Law on State Audit Institution, which prescribe the prohibition on the membership of state auditors in managing bodies of legal persons, and which was clearly indicated in the press release of Institute Alternative from 24 July.(1)

We believe that there was enough room for a more elaborate and transparent evaluation of experiences in the fight against the corruption when it comes to other elected members. Special omission was made when other candidate from NGO sector was not elected in the composition of the Council, which is simultaneously the neglecting of all professional qualifications of a candidate and contributions in the fight against the corruption, in addition to the apparent intention of preventing the election of impartial members in the composition of this body.

Members of the Parliament of Montenegro failed yet another test in securing the prerequisites for the non-selective fight against the corruption. Even though the Government created the model of election of members of the Council of Agency for the fight against the corruption with an apparent intention to directly control the work of this managing body, the Parliament provided the legitimacy to such intention with the election of the proposed composition of Council, in addition to obvious legal and material violations during the procedure of proposal and appointment of its members. Therefore we fear that this composition of Council cannot take care of the task of directing the impartial fight against the corruption, particularly in the part of the election of director who would meet the criteria of independence.

Given that past results in the fight against the corruption are rather limited, compromising the procedure of constituting the body of Agency for the prevention of corruption and further politicisation of the process are clear indicators of future course of reform projects of state institutions. That course is absolutely not going in the way of creating the conditions for an efficient fight against the corruption.

We urge the MPs of Montenegro to keep a close eye on the process of elections and appointments because this is not the first time that during those elections they vote contrary to laws which they adopted in the very same Parliament.

Ana Novaković, Centre for the develpment of non-governmental organisations (CDNGOs)
Jovana Marović, Institute Alternative (IA)
Boris Marić, Centre for Civic Education (CCE)