Transparency Serbia (TS) urged today the Managing Board of the Anti-Corruption Agency to examine the possible political connection between the newly appointed Director of the Agency, Dragan Sikimic and Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), and to inform the public about their findings.
According to the TS, Sikimic does fulfill all the legal requirements for the position in the Agency. However, in 2017, he was appointed by a political party to oversee the voting at presidential election at the poll in Zemun. “This goes against the expectations for the Agency to impartially investigate the funding of presidential campaign, or any future local elections”, TS adds.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) yesterday reported that Sikimis was a member of the Working Committee of the Republic Electoral Commission for the Zemun municipality, and that he was nominated for that position by the Serbian Progressive Party.
TS assessed that the Agency’s Managing Board should first of all reveal whether the members of that body were aware of this information when deciding on the director’s appointment while also urging the new director to also provide that information.
“If the findings show that, as a result of an engagement for which he was nominated by a political party, the Agency’s director is in conflict of interest when deciding on the matters concerning the said political party or its officials, this would hinder most of the Agency’s activities. This is why the Managing Board should investigate all relevant circumstances before the new director assumes his duties”, Transparency Serbia warns.
The Law on Anti-Corruption Agency Law bans the agency’s top officials from being members of political parties, but does not ban its officials from being associated with political parties in other ways. Transparency Serbia warns considers this to be a serious flaw in the law.
(Nova Ekonomija, 18.01.2018)
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