Newly wealthy MPs in Tirana; what's hidden behind their interest? Public interest?

  The study of the Open Data Albania organisation was released today on the World Open Data Day.

The newly elected Albanian deputies are wealthy, businessmen, asset owners, stockholders, real estate, art collections and of many varied luxury objects.

Open Data Albania says that the information in this area has become very voluminous, as Voice of America writes.

"It's interesting to see such a large group of business representatives in parliament. The question is clear: These individuals, who do not belong to the political class and have no previous political commitments, how became lawmakers? They want to be part of a government and representation process, or is just their economic interests and the interests of their business group that bring them to the legislator? Or do they come to strengthen their power, position, and influence? - asks the author of the study, Aranita Brahaj, head of the this organization.

Young MPs are mostly wealthy, merchants and landowners, with successful businesses and some of them are real estate heirs.

But for well known reporters of the political developments in Tirana, as Esiona Konomi of Report TV, the study was not a surprise but a confirmation of the fact that people see daily on the parties and institutional environments.

"It was a confirmation of the constant observations I have made in parliament over the last five years. In this legislature, Parliament has undergone a renovation of 40 percent of lawmakers, dominated by deputies with considerable wealth, but who have not previously had prominent public profile. This means they may have come to parliament because of their wealth. Now that they have a deputy mandate they do not have active status as lawmakers. This means that they can be in parliament at least to provide security to their family businesses or to increase their wealth: this is something that needs to be verified at the end of the legislature," says Esiona Konomi, journalist of politics at Report TV.

On the other hand, the political parties with these wealthy MPs declare little expenditure and little income in the election campaign, and thus appear to be very poor but do not declare funding or donors.

They declare the most of the spending on the campaign, such as transports, headquarters and election offices across the country in every neighborhood of the as gifts from anonymous citizens.

"The three major political parties, all the expenses they have made to staff and electoral offices scattered in the country do not have billed and paid expenditures but have considered these as outdoor donations. This makes it somewhat suspicious of this process of disclosure of audits, while the names of persons who made the donations without reward that have given their private premises in disposal to parties for electoral offices are not published and there is no information on bills and other economics figures." - says Open Data Manager, Brahaj.

The lack of financial transparency, especially in the 3 major parties is a daily hardship of political correspondents in Tirana, who see how public giant activities take place without showing any bill.

"We have noticed, for example, that the main opposition party has declared no donor, no income from membership, but there are electoral expenses. This applies to other major parties such as the PS and SMI, which in the campaign of 2017 justified as many gifts as gifts or making use of it at no cost. They did not give the names of the companies that made these gifts to these political parties, causing them to suspect that these companies, legal entities that have donated funds and assisting a party in the campaign may have interests rewarded with tenders or leave room for further doubts."- said the journalist Konomi.

The study authors note that the law is not clear and complete in terms of transparency and financial control of political parties, to be adjusted during the electoral reform, which should start as soon as possible.

Another problem is the binding relationship of parties with televisions to display free advertising, but now there is a compulsory partnership between them, where there are bills, but no payment.

According to observers, all these cases leave suspicions of conflict of interest, traffic of influences, and attempts to defend and develop businesses behind political power in an illegally manner.
Newly wealthy MPs in Tirana; what's hidden behind their interest? Public interest? Newly wealthy MPs in Tirana; what's hidden behind their interest? Public interest? Saturday, March 03, 2018 Rating: 5
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