Local March 3, 2015 | 10:57 am

Dominican Republic big business fears ‘dubious’ campaign funding

Santo Domingo.- On fears that "dubious and illicit" campaign funds will taint the next elections, the National Business Council (CONEP) on Tuesday reiterated its call on Congress to pass the bills for Political Parties and the Electoral Law without delay.

The business leaders say the legislation will lead to stronger institutions, political organizations and the country’s democratic development.

"We seek the creation of two pieces capable of strengthening the weakest points of our current electoral system, including the lack of control over private donations to parties, campaigns and candidates," the CONEP said in a statement.

"We run the risk that funds from dubious and illegitimate sources filter into the next campaign, raising the level of chaos and lack of transparency of private donations to the existing political parties."

The business association calls for greater control in campaign spending and audits on public contributions to political parties, “but this requires bolstering the Central Electoral Board’s oversight capacity for those expenses.”

The CONEP called the proper regulation over the use of state funds and government agencies essential for election campaigns. Stressing “the excessive expansion of public spending during election periods,” whish in its view figures among the main causes of fiscal deficits in years when elections are held.

It also requested shorten campaigns to ensure peace and reduce the high costs. “which become an exclusion barrier for many Dominicans of talent, skills and experience who aspire to elected office.”

"The Electoral Law should be included to provide effective measures to give equal access to the media and advertising space, and greater regulation during election campaign periods," the CONEP said.

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