PPP/C recommits to campaign financing reform but fears victimisation by publishing donors
The governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) on Thursday recommitted to implementing campaign financing reforms one day after a European Union Follow-up Mission to the 2020 elections urged the government to provide a framework of transparency and accountability.
The EU has specifically asked for the government to put in place regulations that will mandate political parties to publish the names and the amount of money received from donors and put a limit on what political parties spend during their campaigns to ensure a level playing field.
On Thursday, the General Secretary of the PPP/C, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, said that the party has long committed to this level of reform, a commitment that predated the recommendations presented by the EU in March 2021, one year after the 2020 elections.
Jagdeo said the PPP/C had made this promise in its manifesto ahead of the 2020 elections. He agreed that “big money can alter the outcome of elections,” but argued that there is a reality to be confronted by legislating the publication of a register of donors.
That reality is one of victimisation.
“We are committed to ensuring big money, especially oil money does not influence elections in Guyana…that is precisely why we put that in our manifesto,” the PPP/C GS said.
Jagdeo said the party was looking at the two main variables – publicizing the names of donors and limiting financing – noting that it will be addressed in short order.
Jagdeo met personally with the EU Follow-up mission along with other government ministers and recalled on Thursday the role the EU played in staving off the attempted rigging of the 2020 elections.
He said too that the government has gone beyond the 26 recommendations made by the EU to address countless other gaps that were not part of their recommendations.
Headed by Javier Nart, the Follow-up mission hosted a press conference on Wednesday in Georgetown and reported that two of the 26 recommendations were fully implemented while many more were partially implemented.
Some remain untouched to date but the mission hopes there is enough will among the Guyanese people and politicians to address them ahead of the 2025 elections.