Bosnia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) fined four parties a total of 15,600 Bosnian marks for prohibited political advertising before the official start of the election campaign.
The parties were previously reported by Transparency International (TI BiH) observers who continue their monitoring, while the ‘Pod Lupom’ NGO reported that it has recorded 191 electoral irregularities so far.
Members of the Democratic People's Alliance (DNS) received the highest fine, 10,500 BAM, due to sponsored ads via social networks. They were reported by Transparency International. The president of the DNS, also a candidate for the presidency, Nenad Nesic, received a fine of 3,500 BAM.
DNS candidate Marko Kubatlija was fined 3,000 BAM for sponsored political ads on Facebook, and Aleksandar Glavas received the highest fine of 4,000 BAM. He ran a seven-day continuous paid campaign on social networks.
The CEC also fined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) 1,700 BAM, also based on a report by Transparency International.
“Ti BiH has so far sent 28 reports to the Central Election Commission due to various irregularities and activities of political parties and their candidates during the pre-election period, which were observed with the help of field observers hired by TI BiH for the purposes of monitoring the election campaign,” TI BiH said.
Observers from Pod Lupom have already recorded 125 cases of unallowed paid political campaigning, especially on social networks, and 17 have been reported to the CEC.
“It is necessary to draw attention to the fact that there are cases of premature election campaigns that are widespread, but which cannot be sanctioned due to the “grey” zone that exists in the BiH Election Law, which states that a premature election campaign is one that is paid for, which allows politically subjects the possibility for a large number of activities that represent promotion, but which cannot be sanctioned under the current law,” said Srdjan Ostojic from the Pod Lupom organisation.