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Campaign finance bill near ready

Published:Thursday | October 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton

A "difficult journey" to the enactment of campaign-finance laws in Jamaica is "nearing an end" as the legislation committee of Cabinet yesterday held what is believed to have been the last meeting to finalise a draft bill before it is laid in Parliament.

"We are happy that we seem close to the end of that journey now," said one person close to the bill, which is being examined behind closed doors.

The bill, which has been in gestation for some time, is said to capture "the spirit and the letter of the campaign financing reform report" that was sent to Parliament by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ).

Parliament, in 2013, approved a report from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) for the proposed campaign-finance bill, which, among other things, suggests the banning of contributions from foreign governments, foreign government entities and unregulated financial organisations.

The ECJ report also proposes that the identity of big donors and contributors with large government contracts be disclosed, and for a limit to be set on how much money can be spent in any election by candidates and by parties.

A limit is also to be set on how much any individual can contribute to any candidate or party.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell, has said that "barring any unforeseen issues, we should have the bill in Parliament by October".