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Government Senator, Professor Trevor Munroe, on(October 6), moved a Motion in the Upper House for the regulation of funding for political parties and their campaigns.
Senator Munroe said this was necessary in light of a Resolution passed in the Senate in May 2002 for a regime that would allow for “expeditious action on an appropriate regime for the regulation of political parties and campaign election finance in Jamaica”.
He said that in recent years, leaders of government, political parties, civil society, private sector and the media have been calling for such action and that this was “reflecting growing national, hemispheric and global consensus” on such matters.
Professor Munroe said that in the Throne Speech delivered by the Governor-General in April, it was stated that it was the intention of the Government, “to give priority attention to the transparent and realistic financing of political parties, to enable representatives to better serve their constituents, while providing funding for political campaigns”.
He called on the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC) to table a report on the issue in Parliament within two weeks, further suggesting that parliamentary debate, decision and legislative action be taken within four weeks after the tabling of such a report.
To be explained in this report, the Senator requested, were the outcomes of the Committee’s July 2006 Conference on Political Party and Campaign Financing, during which “points of agreement were reached amongst participants, including representatives from the People’s National Party, the Jamaica Labour Party [and] the National Democratic Movement”.
Senator Munroe said that the EAC report should contain “recommendations for urgent amendment to the Representation of the People’s Act”, to require, among other things, “the registration of political parties with the EAC, appropriate disclosure and transparency requirements with respect to party and election funding and strict enforcement of the election law, particularly in respect of financial provisions”.