The reaction of the members of the Working group for the Chapter 23 related to the appointment of the Council of the Agency for the prevention of corruption
In the capacity of members of the Working group for Chapter 23, we express our dissatisfaction with the appointment of the Council of Agency for the prevention of corruption, conducted in a manner which gravely violated the law and with an obvious intention of creating the conditions for continuous political control of the fight against the corruption in Montenegro. Both Government and Parliament proved that the fight against the corruption and establishment of independent institutions are still a bite too big for both for the government and the opposition.
By electing this composition of the Council of Agency for the prevention of corruption, the Commission for the proposal of candidates, then the Anticorruption Committee, and, finally the Parliament, have violated the Articles 41 and 45 of Law on State Audit Institution, which prescribe the prohibition on the membership of state auditors in managing bodies of legal entities, which was clearly pointed out in the press release of Institute alternative from July 24th.
We believe that there was enough room for a more detailed and more transparent evaluation of experiences in the fight against the corruption when it comes to other elected members. Special omission was made when other candidate from NGO sector was not elected to the Council, which is, next to the obvious intention of preventing the election of impartial members in the composition of this body, simultaneously the neglecting of all professional qualifications of a candidate and contributions in the fight against the corruption.
Members of the Parliament of Montenegro failed yet another test in providing the prerequisites for the non-selective fight against the corruption. Even though the Government created the model of election of members of the Council of Agency for the fight against the corruption with an obvious intention to directly control the work of this managing body, the Parliament provided the legitimacy to such intention with the election of the proposed composition of Council, in addition to legal and material violations during the procedure of proposal and appointment of its members. Therefore we fear that this composition of Council cannot take care of the task of directing the impartial fight against the corruption, especially in the part of the election of director who would meet the criteria of independence.
Given that past results in the fight against the corruption are rather limited, compromising the procedure of constituting the body of Agency for the prevention of corruption and further politicization of the process are clear indicators of future course of reform projects of state institutions. That course is definitely not going in the way of creating the conditions for an efficient fight against the corruption.
We urge the MPs of Montenegrin Parliament to closely monitor the process of election and appointment because this is not the first time that during those elections they vote contrary to laws which they adopted themselves in the very same Parliament.
Ana Novaković, Centre for the development of non-governmental organisations (CDNGOs)
Jovana Marović, Institute alternative (IA)
Boris Marić, Centre for Civic Education (CCE)