The Electoral Commission has welcomed the date of implementation of 1 April 2021 for the Political Party Funding Act.
In a statement, the Commission points out that the date coincides with the start of a new financial year within the public sector and for political parties.
“This means changes required by the Act including revisions to the Represented Political Party Fund will be easier to account for.”
The Commission announced that it has started its final phase of preparations to implement the act.
The proclamation announcing the effective date was published in Government Gazette 44125 at the end of last week.
The act aims to:
• provide for, and regulate, the public and private funding of political parties, in particular: the establishment and management of Funds to fund represented political parties sufficiently;
• prohibit certain donations made directly to political parties;
• regulate disclosure of donations accepted;
• determine the duties of political parties in respect of funding;
• provide for powers and duties of the Commission;
• provide for administrative fines;
• create offences and penalties;
• repeal the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, 1997 and provide for transitional matters; and
• provide for related matters.
The act’s regulations were also published last week.
The Commission also emphasised that the date of implementation also means an increase in transparency around party funding ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled to be held between August and November this year.
The Commission announced that a comprehensive programme of stakeholder engagement will be rolled out over the next two months.
The Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act is to be repealed and a new Represented Political Party Fund and Multiparty Democracy Fund set up.