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Campaign financing from public purse fundamentally flawed

Olive Nelson, Contributor

In The Sunday Gleaner of June 24, in an article titled ‘Money woes unsettle JLP’, a source is reported to have explained in relation to political party financing that both major political parties operate accounts “outside of the party accounts, so that private-sector entities could make donations without drawing cheques directly to the party”.

In the same article, the long-serving treasurer of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Chris Bovell, admitted that “some members hold dual functions within the party and, therefore, raise funds in different capacities without the need for candidates to report fund-raising activities to the Treasury/finance committee”.

A week earlier, in The Gleaner of June 15, Robert Pickersgill, equally long-serving chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP), confirmed that in 2007, US$1m had indeed been received from Olint in an account (clearly not that of the PNP) to finance the party’s election campaign.