The most basic and universally accepted principle of political party funding is accountability and transparency. Adequate disclosure of donor names, amounts, political beneficiaries is essential in a functioning democracy. 

The voter has every right to know, nay, the voter must know. Who is funding which party and by how much? Ah, but then people would join the dots and see the picture emerge the links between policy decisions and certain corporates who may have enriched political coffers?

In my skewed vision of the world, transparency means information available to all stakeholders. I think the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) should implement and enforce an electoral campaign financing law. 

The public voting needs not to know which political party has transparent electoral campaign finance. The beneficiary political party or politician will ostensibly not know the donor’s identity. 

File photo: Voters queuing at a Polling Station

Hence, it will only be required to tell the Election Commission that it received X amount through electoral finance donation but will not need to disclose names. 

The donor company or individual politician on its balance sheet will declare a gift to the tune X’sbut will not announce its identity.

Let me clear misconceptions that political funding needs to be cleaned up. A massive donation coming to political parties by the donors, quantum, and source is unknown in Gambian electorates and the electoral commission.

Substantially, our electoral system needs accountability and transparency; donors who give money, their balance sheet should reflect. 

It will ensure cleaner money from donors, more sterile money coming to a political party, and necessary accountability and transparency between political responsibility and electoral accountability. 

Campaign financing will ensure clean money and significant transparency against the current dirty money system in our politics.

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

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