MPs Cannot Be Judge and Party

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Matters of The Moment

Whether it relates to electoral reform, the financing of political parties, urgent measures to be taken to drastically cut CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions…, the people must always be ready to raise their voices in protest against any wrong. Not to do so is to allow greed and short-termism to shortchange democracy, humanity and the world

By Mrinal Roy

“The government proposal to finance political parties from public funds is preposterous and unacceptable. The country knows that the assets owned and the finances of the main political parties are shrouded in opacity. Substantial and ostentatious spending during elections, diverse party activities and weekly press conferences are evidence that the main political parties enjoy an extremely comfortable financial situation. This opacity amidst flagrant signs of lavish party spending undermines democracy…”

“Strict rules of transparency and accountability must also ensure that party funding does not become a source of corruption, leverage and lobbying or money laundering. It is however essential that the system of rigorous control and rules applicable to party funding and expenditure are framed by specialists in the field rather than politicians… We above all want to avoid situations such as Malaysia’s ex-PM’s claim earlier this year that the cash hauls of some $44 million seized from apartments linked to him were donations from his friends and meant for his party’s election campaign…”

 

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* Published in print edition on 7 December 2018

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