After the early parliamentary elections, state funding of the statutory activities of the parties that passed to Verkhovna Rada and gained more than 2% of the vote for the first time will begin. 11 parties apply for such financing from the state budget: 5 of them are those that have passed to the Parliament and 6 more are the parties that have gained more than two percent of votes. This is necessary so that the parties can get rid of the influence of the oligarchs. Taxpayers will have to pay millions for their activities, which causes protests of many citizens, because among the "lucky" ones there are political forces that cause an ambiguous reaction in society. "Apostrophe" inquired in this topic.
Who will receive money
In 2015, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law that established the financing of parties from the state budget. Both parliamentary parties and those political forces that gained at least 2% of the votes in the elections were included in the list of lucky winners. In all cases, the parties will receive funding for statutory activities. And state undertook to compensate expenses for election promotion for those forces which passed to the Verkhovna Rada.
Financing of the parties which have gained more than 2% of support in Ukraine is carried out for the first time. This is the European practice, which is designed to fight for the independence of the parties. According to government officials, support from the state budget should save political forces from the interference of oligarchs. But not in Ukraine.
The parliamentary political forces have been sponsored since 2016. But this did not make them independent parties. It simply allowed them to obtain an additional source of income.
According to the current situation, 11 parties will receive money from the state budget: "Servant of people", "Opposition platform - For life", "Batkivshchyna", "European solidarity", "Voice". These parties have overcome the 5% barrier and passed to the Parliament. "Radical party of Oleh Liashko", "Strength and honor", "Opposition block", "Ukrainian strategy of Groysman", "Sharii party", "Freedom" gained more than 2% of votes. In the next five years, Ukrainians will pay for their statutory activities.
Conditions of state financing
At first glance, the conditions for funding parties are not so difficult. It is necessary to create a separate bank account, submit all necessary reports to the National Agency for the prevention of corruption (NAPC) and throughout the year to spend all the money to the last penny.
Officially, the parties will be able to apply for state finances only after the official publication of the election results by the Central Election Commission.
According to estimates of the "Movement Chesno", the parties which have overcome a two-percent barrier, will receive quite good "profit" since 2020. So, "Radical party", for five years, annually will be funded in the amount of UAH 20 million. And "Power and honor" – for more than UAH 19 million. Also, the "Opposition block" will get UAH 17 million, this is the amount of the state money it can count on. It is followed by "Sharii Party" with 12 UAH million, which caused outrage among many Ukrainians. To recap, the blogger Anatoii Sharii at the time of Victor Yanukovych left Ukraine under the threat of political prosecution. He is widely known for his videos on social and political topics, but the content of these videos does not always cause a positive reaction.
These parties is followed by "Freedom" and "Ukrainian strategy". They will be paid UAH 12 and UAH 11 million, respectively.
Let us note, that the total amount of funding depends on the size of the subsistence minimum in Ukraine. But this money can not be spent just like that. As it was mentioned above, they are allocated exclusively to statutory activities. And before parties get them, they must undergo an independent audit of reporting on property, income, expenses and liabilities of a financial nature. Such reports of the political force should be submitted to the NAPC every quarter. On their basis, a decision will be made to continue funding.
Parties will also have to provide information about those who transfer money to them. This requirement has already been faced by political forces that were in the Parliament of the VIII convocation. According to their reports, the party was financed by employees of beauty salons, small and medium businesses, housewives. And the amounts were considerable, in some cases - from UAH 100 thousand. Some of these "sponsors" were found by journalists, who found out that people do not have such amounts, and even if they had them, they would not pay them for the activities of the party. Therefore, very often their data were used in such a way that illegal funding was filed as legal.
Of course, NAPC has the right to refuse payment of state funds. The reasons may include criminal cases, violations in reports or provision of false information, merger with other political projects or liquidation, non-use of all accrued funds during the year, or voluntary refusal of state funding.
"Apostrophe" tried to find out from the parties whether they would apply for money from the budget, but the positive answer was provided only in the "Sharii party". "Freedom" told that they would make the decision after official publication of results of elections, and in "Force and honor" didn't even think of it yet. "Ukrainian strategy", "Opposition block" and "Radicals" did not response.
Many users of social networks were outraged that the country would now have to pay money to these parties. They point out that the parties not only will not get out of the influence of specific people, but also "pump out" the budget. The MP and one of the initiators of the law Mustafa Nayyem in the comment to "Apostrophe" said that such legislation is correct and necessary.
"We were guided by the fact that the parties that have overcome 2% should not receive external funding not provided for by the law. The essence of this law is not that the state provides for political parties. The bottom line is that the financing of parties should be transparent. Of course, the political force can attract other funding, it is its right. But it should not contradict the law," the politician believes.
In his opinion, all claims should be resolved in court. "In accordance with the procedure established by law, one can apply to the Ministry of Justice, specify the facts of violation of the law of Ukraine by the party, demand the cancellation of its registration and seek justice through the court. And then the party will not receive funding," Nayyem said.
At the same time, Mustafa Nayyem does not exclude that these political forces may not participate in the next parliamentary elections in 5 years or even may wind up.