Appeal of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections on reform of political party and campaign finance

Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections is deeply concerned about the gaps in current system of political party and campaign finance in the Republic of Moldova.  Currently, the election campaigns are mainly financed by a few big donors.  In cases when this is the only source of funding, the interested money may determine a certain behavior or influences certain decisions.  Experience from previous election campaigns demonstrates that a considerable part of income and expenses are not declared by the electoral contestants.  There is a lack of an efficient control of political parties’ finances in Republic of Moldova.  Moreover, an efficient mechanism of sanctioning in case of financial frauds does not exist. This aspect encourages political parties to corrupt the voters using various means, without major risks to be eliminated form election campaigns.

The Coalition states that a clear policy and transparency of financing is the key condition to strengthen the voters’ confidence in political parties and politicians in general.  Money matters in politics because political parties need financial resources to perform their activities, but money should not be used as a trade-off for access to decision-making power.  Eliminating these gaps is also an essential precondition for EU integration.

Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections requests a comprehensive reform of political parties’ financing system. The reform has to include several essential elements. It should eliminate the influence of money in politics, striking a balance between private and public funding.  It is necessary to decrease the donations margins in order to enlarge the number of the donors and diminishing the big donors’ influence.  The reform must ensure the gender equality factor in politics, taking into consideration to low quota of women in parliament and local councils.  Besides, the amendments should foresee clear requirements on transparency, reporting, monitoring and control institutions. Introducing and enforcing penalties for violation of transparency and reporting requirements is crucial for making the political parties more accountable.

Delaying the reform elaboration leads to a series of negative effects.  We run the risk of seeing the same candidates during the electoral campaigns, superficial debates, decisions and laws that will favor economic groups’ interests but not genuine development policies. We urge the Moldova Parliament to meaningfully involve the civil society in the process of debating and approving legal amendments on the reform of political party and campaign finance.

Council of Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections