Officials from the Electoral Office of Jamaica, EOJ, are raising concerns about perceived weaknesses in the country’s historic campaign financing legislation.
The EOJ executives were speaking during an interview with Cliff Hughes and Kemesha Swaby on Monday’s edition of Nationwide @ 5.
The campaign financing law, titled, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act of 2016, took effect in 2018, making Jamaica the first country in the region to have implemented election campaign financing laws.
The legislation stipulates how much money politicians can receive in donations and from what source.
Registrar of Political Parties at the EOJ, Llofraun Thompson, says she expects to see amendments to the landmark law that was passed in January 2016 and took effect just under two years ago.
According to the legislation, foreign governments, public bodies, and entities involved in criminality are prohibited from making donations to political parties or candidates.
But, Director of Legal Affairs at the EOJ, Colleen Wallen, says foreign companies are allowed to donate.
The legislation also stipulates that political parties must submit annual financial declarations.
Director of Elections, Glasspole Brown, says a monitoring mechanism is being put in place to keep politicians accountable.
In the meantime, Director of Elections, Glasspole Brown, says the Electoral Office of Jamaica is ramping up its General Election preparation efforts.
The EOJ has already advertised vacancies for election day workers.
The Director of Elections says his office has taken its cue from utterances made on the political platform.
Meanwhile, Director of Legal Affairs at the EOJ, Colleen Wallen, says politicians can apply to the Electoral Commission to adjust the stipulated amount of money they can accept in donations.
The law has a 15-million dollar cap on the amount of money each candidate can spend on his or her election campaign.
But, a candidate “may not accept more than $1.5 million towards his or her campaign from a contributor, at each interval during the reporting period”.
Colleen Wallen, Director of Legal Affairs at the EOJ.