Regulate party funding – Dagblad Surinam

There has been widespread rejection and disapproval of any funding of activities in 1 government party with state funds. There would be quarrels about this in the government, and applications from the Minister of Finance would rightly not be granted. The question arises, however, how it is possible that these expenditures are approved by the Council of Ministers in favor of the political party. The Vice President (VP) has strongly protested against the critical attitude of the Minister of Finance. He says he wants to see money, he would sit in government for it, not just like that. The Minister of Finance has shown in figures that it is not true that he makes relatively less money available to ABOP ministers than other ministers. The opposite would be true. But according to the Minister of Finance’s explanation, which has come out well and credibly among the bourgeoisie, the government is said to have begun to give the VP and his party their will. So now there is the impression that there are parties in the government that get citizens who pay taxes to pay for the cost of party activities. These party activities can be all kinds of consumer expenses. The question also arises whether this party’s income is all registered by the party? Is the party’s financial income published as required by the law on political organizations? Who can or should act if the administration is incomplete and / or not published? It has been a fact for decades that most political parties do not comply with the disclosure obligation. Political parties do not live up to their duty for years and not a rooster crows. Law on political organizations is a dead letter in terms of disclosure. In fact, it has been indicated by society because there is no protest that there is no need to publish the economic figures. Because there is no practice and tradition regarding the publishing obligation, it has never been made clear that the books are incomplete and that no funds have been illegally obtained from the state. The question also arises as to why the Court of Auditors has never drawn attention to government expenditure on behalf of political parties. In exercising its powers, political organizations shall observe annual publications of revenue sources and accounts in the Republic of Suriname’s Advertising Magazine and at least one daily newspaper. There are no further rules regarding this disclosure obligation. Political parties are not interested in this, because they like to keep sponsors and illegal cash flows as from the treasury in the dark. We have previously indicated that further legislation should be introduced with regard to the obligation to publish. However, the question arises as to who will support this legislation and push it. We do not see Surinamese political parties doing that. In the Netherlands, the scandal over the face mask agreement recently raised the issue of the importance of transparency about party revenues. And how it becomes possible to make malicious sponsors visible. Malicious cash flows cause corruption and infiltration of the mafia into government.

Suriname should not reinvent the wheel, but systems from other countries can be used. Since 2013, political parties in the Netherlands have had to disclose donations over € 4,500 and report them to the Home Office and Kingdom Relations. This ministry publishes an annual list of these grants which the political parties receive. Such a scheme should also be introduced in Suriname with adjusted amounts. In early 2019, the Rutte III cabinet announced that it would table a bill that would ban donations to political parties outside the EU. The proposal followed a year later. Gifts from EU member states – also under € 4,500 – must be announced. An amendment to this bill ensures that in the future, gifts of more than EUR 100,000 per person will no longer be allowed. donor per year.

Each political party in the Senate and / or the House of Representatives must send an annual report to the Minister of the Interior and State. This account includes all donations to the party and its subordinate institutions (eg youth organizations and scientific institutes). In addition, it also provides an overview of all debt.

Because the parties themselves have only a limited source of income, they receive state subsidies in the Netherlands. Only parties that participated in the recent election to the House of Representatives and the Senate and that have obtained one or more seats are eligible for grants. This should also be considered in Suriname.

In the case of state subsidies, it is important to prevent political parties from becoming too dependent on the state. The legislation must then state what state subsidies are and can be used for. The subsidy consists of a general part and a special part. The general part is the same for each party. The special part in addition depends on the number of parliamentary seats and the number of members. The number of parliamentary seats determines 80 percent of the amount and the number of members 20 percent. The right to a subsidy from the public sector can be stopped by the court. If a political party is guilty of discrimination, the party loses its right to subsidy. This is only possible if a political party is condemned as a legal entity and not on the basis of the conduct of persons from the party. For example, the subsidy to the SGP was stopped in 2005 after the refusal to include women as full members of the party. It was reversed in 2007 when the party decided to admit women. In short, we do not have to reinvent the wheel.

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