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KINGSTON — Cabinet has approved the adoption of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica's (ECJ) report to Parliament on Political Party Registration and Financing, and has issued drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC).

This will ensure changes to the Representation of the People's Act (ROPA) to include the ECJ's provisions.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, made the announcement at Wednesday's August 31 Post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

He explained that there is no requirement for Jamaica's political parties to be registered, or for their financial arrangements to be regulated, although the Act addresses, in part, the issue of campaign financing, and the proposed amendments are intended to address that matter.

As to whether the amendments will be in place for the 2012 General Elections, Mr. Vaz told journalists that, 'it is moving forward”. He said that, based on Cabinet and Parliamentary approval, it will be a matter of going through the process for it to be enacted.

"I am sure that will be a priority," Mr. Vaz stated.

The proposed amendments are part of the Government’s thrust to strengthen the Code of Political Conduct, and provide stringent civil and criminal sanctions for certain breaches, as it moves to address political garrisons and tribalism.

 

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter