Written by: Almir Terzić
In just nine years, from 2004 to 2012, political parties in BiH have received 174 million KM of budget funding on all levels of government. It is interesting that these expenses were significantly larger in election years.
During the General elections in 2006, a total amount of 19.383.238,44 KM of budget money has been spent, which is a rise of 26,11%, or 4.013.719,32 KM, compared to the previous year. Similar thing happenned in the 2010 elections: political parties have been paid a total of 22.249.042,19 KM, which is a rise of 2.500.134,50 KM, or 12,66% compared to 2009.
Local elections were no different. In 2008. godine, political parties have been payed 23.681.874,04 KM in total (a rise of 2.631.199,25 KM or 12,5% compared to 2007). The only exception from this rule, albeit just a symbolicone, are the local elections in the year 2012, when 251.344,95 KM or 1,26% less budget fonds have been spent than in 2011. But the amount of 19.704.792,46 KM has still been felt by tax-payers.
When we look at entities, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina spends a lot more money on political parties than Republic of Srpska. For instance, in nine years period, the parties have received 26.767.150,50 KM from the budget of FBiH and an additional 37.843.998,03 KM from cantonal budgets (64.611.148,53 KM in total).
Parties from RS have taken 30.528.198,53 KM from RS budget in the same period of time.
The rule of increased funding in election years can also be seen here. In 2010, the parties were funded with 5 million KM from the Budget of Federation of BiH, making this the single largest payment ever recorded on any level of government in BiH. Similar situation was in place in 2006 and 2008, when payments were made in the amount of po 3 milion KM, while in 2012. this amount was 3,5 milion KM.
In Republika Srpska's budget, single largest payment for political parties has been that of 4,2 million KM, given in time of local elections in 2008. In 2012, it was 3,5 mililon KM, in 2010 it was 3,2 million KM, and in 2006, 3,19 million was spent on political parties.
The situation in the cantons is similar: they have also made sure that the parties be given more funding come election time. The single largest amount was recorded in 2008 (5.167.777,45 KM), followed by 2010. (4.585.981,41 KM), 2006. (4.412.153,93 KM), and 2012. (4.189.296,29 KM).
From 2004. to 2012, a total of 4.624.340,46 KM of public money was spent for party financing on the state level. It is interesting to notice that 2.284.160,77 KM has been transferred to political parties’ accounts directly, while 2.340.179,69 KM was spent on their clubs in Parliamentary assembly in just six years.
Brčko District's budget has seen 1.704.285,05 KM of public money going to parties’ accounts in eight years (2005.-2012.).
Enormous ammounts are also being received from local budgets (towns and municipalities), again, with sharp rises in amounts during election time.
In 2008, municipalities in BiH have disbursed 8.900.882,54 KM to the political parties, in 2006 it was 7.730.249,74 KM, in 2010 – 7.214.768,57 KM, and in 2012. a total of 6.229.455,49 KM was given to the parties.
The cities in BiH have also been spending more on political parties in election years: a total of 1.663.647,62 KM in 2008; 1.402.492,01 KM in 2012; 1.029.416,21 in 2010 and 698.246,35 KM in 2006.
A practical example of budget funding for the parties
Istinomjer has taken the year 2012, when local elections in BiH were held, as an example. This year was considered a crisis year for the citizens, with significant cuts in spending for projects and programs, with going in debt at the International Monetary Fund on top. However, there was no concerns for budget spending on political parties.
While entities found themselves facing budget deficits, both the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska solidarily payed 3,5 million KM each to their political parties.
In the Federation of BiH, the parties have received, as follows:
SDP – 823.715 KM
SDA – 562.615 KM
HDZ BiH – 374.152 KM,
SBB – 311.334 KM,
NSRB – 185.691 KM,
SBiH – 173.910 KM,
HDZ 1990 – 138.575 KM,
SNSD – 115.018 KM,
HSP 107.164 KM,
DNZ – 91.460 KM,
HKDU – 75.753 KM
BOSS – 75.753 KM
LDS – 75.753 KM
SDU – 75.753 KM
Naša stranka – 75.753 KM
Independent MPs – 49.076 KM,
DNS – 38.734 KM,
HSS-NHI – 37.019 KM
HDU – 37.019 KM.
In Republika Srpska, the parties have received, as follows:
SNSD – 1.318.191 KM
SDS – 677.229 KM
PDP – 306.145 KM
DNS – 272.410 KM
SP/PUP coalition– 204.940 KM
SDP – 171.205 KM
DP – 171.205 KM
SDA – 137.470 KM
NDS – 137.470 KM
SRS RS – 103.735 KM.
It's no wonder that Sarajevo canton is in deep financial crisis. In 2012 alone, this canton gave the political parties 1.185.000 KM, making it the largest payment on cantonal level in BiH.
These funds were distributed as follows:
SDP – 249.792,42 KM
SDA – 211.237,25 KM
SBB – 211.237,25 KM
SBiH 129.120,42 KM
Naša stranka – 91.895,04 KM
NSRB – BOSS – 91.895,04 KM
SDU-BPS – 85.771,78 KM
Independent MPs – 114.550,80 KM.
Enormous budget funds were also spent that year in Central Bosnia Canton – a total of 800.000 KM.
This amount was distributed as follows:
HDZ BiH – 171.998,28 KM
SDA 135.998,64 KM
SDP – 145.998,54 KM
SBB – 77.999,22 KM
NSRB – 55.999,44 KM
HDZ 1990-HSP 43.125,95 KM
HSP – 7.362,42 KM
HSS–NHI – 32.666,34 KM
SBiH – 30.755,25 KM
Blaženka Lukić – 25.999,74 KM,
Amel Hadžiabdić and Suvad Grizić –15.999,84 KM each
Muhamed Ćurić – 15.244,30 KM,
Ante Lozančić – 13.333,20 KM
Dražen Matišić – 11.519,01 KM.
In Zenica-Doboj Canton, political parties have spent a less amount of tax payers’ money in 2012, but it was still a significant one (400.000 KM); in Tuzla Canton it was
398.904,85 KM, in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton 382.650 KM and 356.992,10 KM in Una-Sana Canton.
Posavina Canton had transferred 159.999,33 KM to the political parties, West Herzegovina Canton – 155.250 KM and Bosnian Podrinje Canton 50.000 KM.
It is also interesting to see how 630.000 KM was distributed from the Parliamentary Assembly's budget in 2012.
SDP has received 110.310 KM, while 7.176,65 KM was spent on this party's MP's club; SDA was given 75.539,85 KM, out of which 19.121,15 KM was kept by their MP's for their own club. SNSD never received a penny from their MP's in PA BiH, since all 89.965,89 KM was used for the club of SNSD's MPs. SDS was paid 20,050 KM, while whole 38.742,74 KM has been spent on MPs’ club. HDZ BiH has also spent more money on their club (38.423,63 KM) than was given to the party itself (only 10.990 KM)..
DNZ's MPs also understood that it's better to keep the money for themselves, so they kept 31.624,30 KM for their club, while only 7.125 KM was distributed to the party. The similar was the case with SBiH, who kept 16.054,28 KM for the club, giving only 2.900 KM to the party itself.
Unlike those mentioned above, SBB's MPs have given most of the amount to their party – 46.500 KM, and have only kept 4.598,62 KM for their club's expenses. NSRzB has been paid 6.478,95 KM, PDP 5.000 KM, and HDZ 1990 only 800 KM.
Serb People Caucus has kept an entire amount of 52.024,32 KM to itself. Croat People Caucus has distributed a total of 57.785,15 KM so that 40.106,63 KM went to the club, while the difference was probably distributed to the parties. Bosniak People Caucus has took only 8.731 KM, while the rest (from the total amount of 57.785,15 KM) was also probably given to the parties.
Looking at the cities, the biggest amount of public money in 2012 was spent by Banja Luka – 337.028,32 KM total, followed by Mostar, where the local elections weren't even held, – 320.829,31 KM, Sarajevo 221.917,33 KM, Bijeljina – 191.741,46 KM, Doboj – 140.100,59 KM, Prijedor – 100.000 KM, and Brčko District gave 254.285,66 KM to the parties.
Municipalities in FBiH have spent a total of 5.124.613,05 KM in the year 2012. on political parties (Široki Brijeg, Ljubuški and Drvar are not included here, since there is no available data).
Individually, the municipalities which spent the most on political parties were Centar Sarajevo – 399.999,36 KM, Novi Grad Sarajevo – 349.999,86 KM, Travnik – 285.600 KM, Novo Sarajevo – 270.000 KM, Tuzla – 231.247,50 KM, Sanski Most – 190.772 KM, Stari Grad Sarajevo – 177.094,10 KM, Zenica – 155.175,36 KM, Konjic – 137.555,31 KM, Vitez – 134.000 KM, Vogošća – 130.000 KM, Maglaj – 125.400 KM, Kiseljak – 120.000 KM, Velika Kladuša – 118.465,70 KM, Živinice – 113.202 KM, Jajce – 106.304,16 KM, Prozor/Rama – 103.800 KM, and Bugojno – 100.000 KM.
At the same time, the municipalities of Republika Srpska (with no data for Bileća, Foča and Gacko) has spent 1.104.842,44 KM on financing the political parties.
Individually, the municipalities which spent the most on political parties were Teslić – 120.000 KM, Derventa – 89.391,55 KM, Zvornik – 80.387,20 KM, Laktaši – 68.000 KM, Gradiška – 67.968,25 KM, Kozarska Dubica – 59.264,25 KM, and Ugljevik – 58.900 KM.
AN OVERVIEW OF FUNDINGS PER PARTY IN 2012.
Party Public funding Total funding
SDA 3.337.711,30 KM 4.458.719,77 KM
SDP 3.173.646,99 KM 4.658.366,91 KM
SNSD 2.052.049,83 KM 2.497.116,56 KM
HDZ BiH 1.640.903,15 KM 2.141.357,63 KM
SDS 1.167.021,36 KM 1.467.544,74 KM
SBiH 951.851,10 KM 1.044.407,19 KM
SBB 917.081,65 KM 1.214.823,57 KM
NSRB 612.795,45 KM 681.594,27 KM
DNS 509.653,01 KM 657.554,50 KM
HDZ 1990 591.885,51 KM 651.091,85 KM
PDP 582.556,80 KM 651.248,56 KM
SP 347.867,78 KM 642.420,94 KM
BPS 340.209,37 KM 370.343,08 KM
Naša stranka 321.979,16 KM 329.074,16 KM
HSP 305.673,78 KM 347.805,57 KM
DNZ 251.079,53 KM 322.356,69 KM
SDU 237.236,61 KM 259.388,61 KM
A-SDA 214.266,02 KM 247.819,88 KM
NDS 185.837,00 KM 242.737,00 KM
DP 178.443,78 KM 230.976,83 KM
BOSS 216.699,61 KM 218.874,40 KM
SRS RS 194.066,94 KM 218.435,25 KM
LDS 123.166,03 KM 147.582,54 KM
SPU 73.351,83 KM 159.958,79 KM
In the end, we can still add an interesting fact that the Council of Ministers, at its meeting held in late January, made a Decision on withdrawal of the sixth tranche of the fourth Stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund and authorized the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to issue a “promissory note” in the amount of 95,446,776.71 KM. This clearly shows that, in the past nine years, political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina spent nearly two tranches of the Stand-by arrangement with the IMF.
If the budget expenses for the parties were reduced, not only that significant savings could be achieved, but it could also prevent various manipulations. Manipulation of political parties with disbursements of funds for private purposes – to pay the costs of education of their members and their children, excursions, and even electricity bills, purchasis of books written by parliamentarians, fake invoices for fuel, official travel, per diem, illegal payments benefits and observer fees – are just some of the irregularities found in the audit investigation reports on financial transactions, which were done in recent years by Audit Department of the Central Election Commission.
Individually, the massive amounts of money allocated for funding of political parties every year, are even larger than the budgets of individual institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even a partial reduction of funds allocated to political parties would ensure, for example, funding for the seven endagered cultural institutions of importance for the country.