Political parties must account for elections campaign funding – AG

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

The financing of political parties without transparency and accountability can lead to corruption. Given Guyana’s oil boom, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has committed to enacting robust campaign finance laws that will ensure the receipt of funds by political parties is under legal control.

This was disclosed by Attorney General Anil Nandlall during a recent interview on a local radio programme.

During the discourse, he reminded that one of the PPP/C’s manifesto promises for the 2020 General and Regional Elections was to enact campaign financing style legislation and other measures in Guyana.

“Hold us accountable based on our manifesto promise,” the Attorney General asserted. He went on to explained that we have reached a stage in today’s democratic world where concepts such as campaign financing legislation can no longer be toyed with.

“The world has become too democratised, the world has become too transparent. Governance has become too accountable to leave these issues in a nebulous way; they must be regulated. There must be transparency when it comes to where a political party gets its financing from. It [the political party] must be able to make that type of information public for national and international scrutiny.”

Against this backdrop, he is committed to having campaign finance laws passed before the next elections.

“Our manifesto made promises for this five-year period. It will be delivered before this five-year period in accordance with our manifesto. It may happen before the end of the year,” the Attorney General stated.

He, however, noted that it will depend on the priority of the Government.

For instance, Nandlall pointed out that if an election is not looming then campaign financing laws may not be a priority. “Obviously, campaign financing relates to an election. But it should be done in adequate time in preparation for elections.” Given that the nature of the Government is a bureaucratic process, he explained that things may take a long time to be implemented.

“Government by its very nature is a slow machinery. Things take a long time to happen, to materialise, to be implemented because Government must act transparently and with accountability at almost every level. That slows down governmental process…” the Attorney General noted.