N: We just can’t find the time to fight corruption
Forshpan: Forget the stories that the government insists on adopting the new law, and the opposition, which runs the Commission for Elections and Appointments, deliberately did not call a meeting. Both sides work perfectly when they have an interest.
When in March this year a scandal in the Corruption Commission broke regarding the usage of fake orders on the basis of which travel expenses were paid to the members, the public demanded resignations. And, they got them. Not from everyone, but from five members and the president. Two did not want to go for dear life. They’re still there.
Considering that shortly before that, due to the payment of bonuses, the entire State Election Commission “collapsed”, and if we continue with the chain of changes we will get to the change on “Ilindenska”, the society was hoping to heal the rotten institutions.
The State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC), which was established in 2012, has never succeeded in imposing itself as a serious state body that will successfully play the role it is dedicated to: an exceptional and effective anti-corruption fighter. Instead, their work was reduced to bare numbers of undertaken actions, mainly targeting smaller fish, while the big ones were left to swim. Not a single case was processed, the SCPC did not comment on the allegations in the “bombs”, did not respond even when the citizens or the media presented serious suspicions of corruption in the highest state bodies, and did not comment on the bonuses of their counterparts from the SEC. Its budget grew from year to year, reached a figure of half a million euros, and members of the commission were paid more than a thousand euros per month.
Elected in the Assembly, they acted as a parliamentary attachment, not a body that will make the Parliament shake. And they enjoyed their non-work. Probably, this Commission was never truly given power. They were “fed” with high bills for lunches and dinners in elite restaurants, trips abroad, apartment rents…
That is why, after resignations in March, we all believed that the new anti-corruption regulation would really revive, which envisaged different and stricter rules for the election of the members of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the measures and activities for preventing corruption in the exercise of power, public authorizations, official duty and politics, prevention of conflicts of interest and corruption in the performance of matters of public interest …
So it is on paper, and in reality it can wait. The constitutional changes dictate the pace, and the budget for the next year should also be adopted. The sneaky cabinet members remembered that the old law could be utilized at least once more, so they could quickly pick five members to fill Anti-Corruption at least for the presidential election in the spring. Since they are not expected to do anything, anyway.
Forget the stories that the government insists on adopting the new law, and the opposition, which runs the Commission for Elections and Appointments, deliberately did not call a meeting. Both sides work perfectly when they have an interest. The government, moreover, is capable of finding eight opposition MPs – “in the nick of time” – who will vote for changing the constitutional name, but can not “break” the opposition when it comes to the immunity of Nikola Gruevski, the Council of the Macedonian Radio- television, the status of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office …
Fully focused on the solution to the name dispute, we continue to put the things that were wrong under the rug, instead of getting rid of them. It is bad that political elites think we are buying their story. Worse still, they think that “tomorrow” Brussels or Washington will clean our garbage.