“Yes”” for Parliament with Clean Hands”

The “Yes to a Parliament with Clean Hands“ campaign was conducted in October and November of 2007 in cooperation with our partners, the Bura Network and the Romanian Academic Society (SAR). The main goal of the campaign was to raise the level of political integrity of all political parties and independent candidates that stood for the 2007 parliamentary elections on November 25th. The activities of the campaign were divided into three main categories. The first activity was a proposition made towards all the candidates for parliamentary elections to sign a declaration of asset form prepared by the Bura Network. By signing the form candidates would proactively show that their private interest was subordinate to their commitment to the public good. The second activity was directed toward the political parties asking them to sign a Campaign Participation Agreement. This agreement required the political parties to base their selection criteria of candidates on a number of principles insuring that the candidate or his close relatives never profited from the process of privatization, gained capital from extensive transaction with the state and never had verifiably been accused of a confirmed conflict of interest. The third activity was the general advocacy of the citizens democratic right to vote and convincing citizens to sign a petition for the amend of the Act on the Prevention of conflict of Interest in the Exercise in the Public Office. These advocacy activities encompassed 54 cities, towns and municipalities, a total of 276, 352 leaflets were distributed and 2, 891 petition signatures were collected. The information on the campaign and its results were reported by 47 different media. The campaign results were organized into a white list of political parties that signed the Campaign Participation Agreement and black listed parties that refused to sign the agreement. From the black listed parties the following candidates provided declarations of assets: Dragutin Lesar (HNS), Jozo Radoš (HNS), Nada Bajić (HNS), Jadranka Cigelj (HSP), Zoran Vinkovć (SDP), Božidar Čapalija (HSU), Ana Dusper (HSU). The results of the campaign were 11 white listed parties and 7 black listed parties. However, this result must be contextualized with the information that all of the major parties in government and a large portion of opposition parties currently holding seats within parliament refused to sign the Agreement. The Agreement was mainly signed by regional parties that lacked any major role in the political decisions made by this session of parliament. This is a testimony to the lack of political will to reform the current structure of government that is plagued with conflicts of interest and corruption.
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