Political parties not disclosing finances - IPPR

25 October 2021 | Politics

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

The Institute for Public Political Research (IPPR) says all political parties are violating the electoral law by not disclosing their finances.

“The issue is not an insignificant one, as for the 2020/2021 financial year, over N$102 million was paid out of state coffers to political parties with representation in Parliament,” it said.

The IPPR’s report on ‘Perspectives on Parliament’ examines the worrying lack of transparency and accountability that marks political party funding in Namibia.

According to the report, political parties do not adhere to rules on transparency and accountability, and regulatory and oversight entities don’t do their part to enforce compliance.

It noted that it has been almost seven years since the Electoral Act became law and in all that time, Namibian political parties have been largely non-compliant on political financing provisions.

“According to Article 139 of the Electoral Act of 2014, all registered political parties, not just those with representation in Parliament, were supposed to have submitted a declaration of assets and liabilities to the Electoral Commission of Namibia [ECN] within 21 days from the opening of Parliament.”

Since Parliament officially opened on 2 March, by the end of March, all registered political parties should have been in compliance with the Article, it said.

Only one

Furthermore, the IPPR said according to Article 140 of the Electoral Act, all registered political parties should by now have lodged audited financial statements with the ECN, as well as having had such statements published in at least two newspapers with nationwide circulation.

According to the Act, within three months after the end of the financial year, the secretary of the National Assembly must submit all received audited statements of political parties’ allocated funds during the past financial year to the National Assembly for discussion.

“Suffice it to say, this has not happened by October, over halfway through the 2021/22 financial year,” the report said.

Chief electoral officer at the ECN, Theo Mujoro, told IPPR that despite the fact that all registered political parties - as well as registered organisations and associations - are fully aware of the requirements of the Act and its regulations, only one political party complied with Section 139, and they did so in August.

“The same state of affairs is evident with regard to compliance with Section 140 of the Electoral Act. Only two political parties complied, and one of them submitted financial statements which have not been audited as per the requirements of the Act. Neither of the two political parties provided proof of publication in two newspapers as is required.”

He said it is clear that political parties are either having difficulties or are reluctant to comply with the law, which places the ECN in an unenviable position.

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