Did you ever think how political parties attract voters? – In Romania, election manipulation through flour and oil packages is illegal and giving party jackets is inefficient. One answer: expanding their cash box through subsidies from 2 millions of Euros in 2008, to 37 millions in 2018 !
But there is also another way: the abuse of public resources through local networks, where we strongly compete with Moldova and Georgia.
The Government is giving money to mayors through PNDL (National Programme for Local Development), a substantial public fund, then the mayors make sure to give it forward to companies controlled by political parties through public procurement procedures. This way, 4-5 companies with strong connections or criminal records are receiving over 60 % of the money in a county.
In the Republic of Moldova there are more subtle ways, besides the Romania classical procedure: money directed to the neighbourhood or street where elections are tight, not necessarily to the mayor of the party. This trick assured plenty of seats in the Parliament for the Democratic Party in 2019. It was not important that roads were useless, or led to cemeteries.
In Georgia, the situation is simpler. The party that wins the parliamentary elections will receive, in a year or two, the party-switching mayors. In a small country with only 69 municipalities, everybody knows everybody and it is hard to resist some offers you can`t refuse.
EFOR mapped all the data from these 3 countries. But what can you do? Keep an eye on mayors and governments! See if the roads exist! We also prepared a guide that allows you to search data and connect information: the Clientelism Detector. Show it to your friends, discuss about it! Clientelism costs us much more than a bottle of oil or a party jacket.
Read more about the profile of political clientelism in Moldova, Georgia and Romania.