St Lucia Needs to Control, Disclose Campaign Financing: OAS Report

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 4, 2012

Above: the regular session of the Permanent Council of the OAS (Photo: Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia must improve its rules on campaign financing, according to the report from the OAS Electoral Observation Mission on the country’s November 2011 general elections.

Barbados’ Dr Rosina Wiltshire, the chief of the mission, said the OAS also recommended that St Lucia’s government undertake an update of the voters’ registry, immediately establish a commission on electoral boundaries to establish a more equitable division of constituencies and approve legislation on campaign financing.

The latter, which the OAS noted soon after the Nov. 28 vote, should be aimed at prohibiting anonymous and foreign contributions, something the organization called a “gray zone” in November.

“There needs to be established a mechanism or institution to control money coming in and out of campaigns, wider access to information for citizens on the use of funds, and requirements for political parties to disclose such information,” said Wiltshire, who also mentioned the need to “seriously discuss the issue of voter participation,” following a decreased turnout compared to the 2006 elections.

She did congratulate the country on its participation and efforts to maintain democracy in the country.

The observation mission was helped by support from the governments of Bolivia, Chile, the US and the UK.

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