The Social-Democratic Party is compelled to release the financial information regarding the ‘white shirts’ rally on June 8, 2018 in Victoriei Square, so-called ‘rally against abuses’. Journalist Ovidiu Vanghele requested the figures on the funds spent on this occasion, whereas PSD refused to deliver them. The journalist sued PSD and has won the case in court, ziare.com reports.
The Bucharest Court reasoning reads that PSD was compelled to release the requested information regarding the rally, as it is of public interest and concerns the activity of a political party.
PSD is now compelled to offer the requested information to journalist Ovidiu Vanghele.
The journalist had requested the funding sources and the services providers for the activities conducted on June 9, 2018 for the rally. For example, information was requested on the transport of participants from their localities to the rally, the expenses on water and food for the participants or for arranging the site – how much it cost to install the scene, the screens, to play the music and to broadcast the Roland Garros final.
All information was requested based on Law 544/2001, which provides free access to public interest information.
PSD has avoided providing the information, invoking other laws, such as the accountability law and the law on funding political parties. It also argues that other institutions have conducted controls, such as the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) and the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF).
However, the Bucharest Court has ruled that such checks do not exclude the obligation of a political party to offer information on the funding such rallies, as it is information of public interest.
Furthermore, the court argues that PSD refused to provide the figures and that, if the party did not have them, it could have said it plainly and should have provided an explanation for not having them, but not to ignore the request.