JIS News

A motion brought by Senator Professor Trevor Munroe, calling for urgent legislation to govern political party funding and reform in election campaign financing regulations, was supported in the Senate on Friday (Oct. 13).
In piloting the motion, Professor Munroe said that the public, as well as both major political parties, have pointed to the need for such legislation from as far back as 10 years ago. “It is about time that we settle this issue of contributions to political parties, laying down firm rules,” he stated.
Jamaica, Senator Munroe said, must move quickly to enact the legislation, based on concerns raised by the Organisation of American States (OAS) last year, that “the United Nations estimated that US$50 billion was being laundered throughout the Caribbean.”
He called on the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC) to prepare a report on the matter for tabling in Parliament within two weeks and legislative action to be taken within four weeks after the tabling of such a report.
The EAC report, he indicated, 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”.
Rising to support the motion, Opposition Senator Shirley Williams said that while it was urgent that the matter be attended to, two weeks was too short a time for the report from the EAC to be tabled in parliament.