Campaign finance reform law soon - AG

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 07:30

The pro­posed Cam­paign Fi­nance Re­form leg­is­la­tion (CFR) will be brought to Par­lia­ment in a cou­ple weeks, At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi says.

He gave the yes­ter­day es­ti­mate in re­sponse to queries from Op­po­si­tion Sen­a­tor Ger­ald Ramdeen, who asked if the Non-Prof­it Or­gan­i­sa­tions (NPO) bill would ex­tend to po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Al-Rawi said Gov­ern­ment will be lay­ing planned CFR leg­is­la­tion which will make it manda­to­ry to reg­u­late par­ties' fi­nanc­ing. But he said he didn't en­vis­age po­lit­i­cal par­ties be­ing called in­to the NPO bill, since po­lit­i­cal par­ties didn't act in the trustee/ben­e­fi­cia­ry re­la­tion­ship in­volved in NPOs.

De­spite Al-Rawi's state­ment, In­de­pen­dent Sen­a­tor De­oroop Teemul said he felt po­lit­i­cal par­ties would ul­ti­mate­ly be­come part of the NPO range.

Al-Rawi's lat­est in­di­ca­tion on the pro­posed CFR bill - which had been a Peo­ple's Na­tion­al Move­ment gen­er­al elec­tion cam­paign promise - comes as po­lit­i­cal par­ties pre­pare for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment elec­tions. These are con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly due lat­er this year. Gen­er­al elec­tions are al­so ex­pect­ed next year.

Yes­ter­day, Op­po­si­tion MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie said, "We'll await what­ev­er CFR bill they bring, we have no prob­lem, we'll go through the nor­mal pro­ce­dures and on that ba­sis, see if it's a good (CFR) bill.

"We thought they'd have brought it a long time ago. In fact, while in of­fice, the pre­vi­ous PP ad­min­is­tra­tion had es­tab­lished a Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on the is­sue of cam­paign fi­nance re­form. That com­mit­tee be­came de­funct in 2015."

- by Gail Alexander