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Pre-election pressures on employees in the public sector

dodik gackoIn the election campaign in Serbia we have not yet seen direct threats to public sector employees like those sent by the President of the Republic Srpska and the leader of the SNSD Milorad Dodik, in the campaign in BiH, for which our colleagues from TI BiH filed a criminal complaint.

According to TLBiH Dodik threatened pensioners that they would not receive a one-time assistance if they did not vote for SNSD, health workers who support trade union leaders that they will not receive salary increases, and TPP Gacko employees will be dismissed if they vote for the opposition.

We could, however, hear a secret video that in Serbia in the past years, as the media reported, in which the president of the municipality ordered the dismissing of the employees who do not want to go to the SNS rally.

We have also read media reports about forcing workers in the public sector to attend political meetings, and we have also saw footage of JP workers dressing party jackets before the rally. All of this has been registered by the TS in the campaign reports of all previous years since 2012.

Also, the use of public resources in the campaign, speeches of politicians directed against the opposition, at meeting where they advent as functionaries, became a regular phenomena in Serbia, registered by local organizations, as well as the European Commission in the reports in Serbia and the observers of the OSCE/ODIHR Mission.

The problem is that the reaction of the competent state authorities is absent. So, for an example, in case of promoting the list of SNS in the Zemun Grammar School, when several laws were violated, the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Education Inspection concluded that this was not a political gathering.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic has also promoted the SNS and criticized opposition candidates, as a minister of construction and traffic in Obrenovac in 2018 during the campaign, and her statement was published on the Ministry’s website, which is undoubtedly a violation of the Anti-Corruption Agency Act, which prohibits official from using public resources and meetings at which they participate and meetings in their capacity as functionaries, for the promotion of political parties or political entities.

In March, the Anti-Corruption Agency has given us the answer that a preliminary check is being carried out on whether she violated the law, and this week, on the new request, the answer is that it is still ”in the process of a previous check”