Gelu: Parties must justify campaign funding

National

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
INTEGRITY of Political Parties and Candidates Commission Registrar Dr Alphones Gelu is concerned about political parties raising more than K500,000 for their campaigns for this year’s election.
“We want to know where those funds came from? We really have to come down hard on them,” Gelu said.
“I think one of the reasons why the revised Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties (OLIPAC) and Candidates was not passed in parliament since 2014 is that there is a strong provision that we had put in place that would address the issue of campaign finance.”
Speaking during a three-day workshop on media and elections at Dixie Bungalow at 17-Mile outside Port Moresby, he said: “Under the current OLIPAC law, political parties can receive up to K500,000 per event.
“There are certain political parties that can get K500,000 today, tomorrow, next week and so on but the provision in the revised Act says that they have to receive K500,000 per year.
“They can get K10,000 today, K5,000 tomorrow, K1,000 next week but once it reached K500,000 in a year, they must stop getting any more funds.
“The reason why we have addressed that particular issue is because there are certain political parties that are getting that type of money at random. This has created and uneven playing field.”
Dr Gelu said that another new provision in the revised OLIPAC Act stated that whoever contributed funds to a party or candidate must advise his office.
“One provision in the revised OLIPAC Act is that no Government organisation contributes to political parties.”

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