Promoting Transparency in Election Campaign Financing

In the last few decades there has been a transformation of political rhetoric worldwide. Only a small number of regimes claim to adhere to an ideology of governance other than democracy. Elections between competing political parties and movements have become the dominant method of selecting governments. In this process, political parties and candidates need access to money in order to reach out to the electorate and explain their goals and policies, and receive input from the people about their views. Currently, there is no legislative framework requiring the registration of political parties or the disclosure, by political parties, of the contributions made to them by individuals or corporations. This lack of disclosure may allow for corrupt practices as funding of political parties may be based in the premise of receiving future benefits. In this regard, a Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament was established to develop a strategy in moving forward with the issue of election campaign financing and solicited feedback from stakeholders. UNDP was invited by The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago to provide technical advice and recommendations on the way forward. 

 

UNDP produced a Concept Paper titled, “A Review of Regional and International Approaches to Election Campaign Financing” as well as utilised expert advice from Mr. Charles Chauvel who leads the Inclusive Political Processes team in UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programmes Support in New York. Mr. Chauvel previously worked as a Parliamentary Development Advisor, leading UNDP’s global parliamentary programme, providing support and advice to UNDP's parliamentary strengthening projects in sixty-eight (68) countries. Mr. Charles Chauvel visited Trinidad and Tobago to provide expert evidence on behalf of UNDP to the JSC on Campaign Finance Reform on 05 May.  Charles addressed JSC questions raised on campaign finance reform by members and senators. This need for transparency in the role of money in politics has been recognized internationally through the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which states that countries should ‘consider taking appropriate legislative and administrative measures… to enhance transparency in the funding of candidatures for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties’.

 

Transparency in Election Campaign Financing

  • UNDP produces a Concept Paper titled, " A Review of Regional and International Approaches to Election Campaign Financing".
  • The need for transparency in the role of money in politics has been recognized internationally through the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

 

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