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Withhold donations increase until campaign financing laws are passed, says lobby group

Published:Tuesday | July 30, 2013 | 3:18 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



The Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) says the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) should withhold any potential increase in donations to political parties until languishing campaign financing laws are passed in both Houses of Parliament.




Tomorrow, the ECJ is to consider a proposal to increase by 100 per cent, the sum individuals and donors can contribute to candidates and political parties as a result of the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.



However, the JCSC’s chairperson, Carol Narcisse says it would be reasonable for the ECJ to stall any potential increase pending the passage of the outstanding legislation.



She says such a move will function as an incentive for the Parliament to act on the matter.



Narcisse notes that she is not opposed to the ECJ's review of the rates given the current financial situation.



The ECJ Chairman Dr Herbert Thompson says the commission's original recommendation two years ago that no person should give a candidate more than $1 million has been adjusted to $2 million.



There is also a recommendation to increase from $10 million to $20 million, contributions to political parties.



The Government has missed its June deadline for taking legislation on campaign financing to Parliament.



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