Squandering budget money on recurring elections

In the last five years, Serbia has spent close to 9 billion dinars on elections, and 60% of that amount, i.e. 5.4 billion, was spent on snap elections – the National Coalition for Decentralization has calculated.

„The money that the state spent on snap elections would be sufficient to build 18 nurseries and 12 schools, and to pay out 117,000 average salaries“, says Milena Velojic, the Coalition’s director, and adds that the amount of money spent on snap elections would also be sufficient to fund the National Parliament’s work for two years.

Democracy is expensive, and that’s nothing new – says Dragan Dobrasinovic, the President of the Coalition for Supervision of Public Finances. He also says that the problem lies in frequent elections that are usually called when the government in power assesses that it has good chances of winning.

Dobrasinovic says that this practice has proven profitable for political parties in terms of the money it brings if the ruling parties stay in power.

„True, political parties do profit from the budget and from the donations from certain business people. Also, there are privileges when a party becomes a member of the state government“, Dobrasinovic explains.

„The election winners are not too keen on working hard during their entire four-year-term, but are keen on creating emergency situations instead of working on the country’s progress. The elections are held both when they are supposed to and not supposed to, and this frequency does bring the country to a standstill“, Dobrasinovic explains.

“During election years, the National Parliament works 30% less than in years when elections don’t take place”, the National Coalition says and adds that, during the election years, 70% of laws have been urgently adopted, in comparison to 45% in non-election years. Speaking from the economic perspective, with the 50 million EUR that were spent on snap elections, we could have created almost 10,000 new jobs.

(Vesti Online, 09.11.2017)






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