Panama’s flawed campaign funding

Taxpayer funded flags

352Views 0Comments Posted 09/03/2019

May 5, 2019, is a day in which all citizens of legal age have the right to vote in general elections. Each one of those suffrages is equal to the others. But that equality between voters is not extended to the candidates since the candidates for elected office are competing on an unequal plane. Thus, while each one of the presidential independent candidates received $1.46 per signature, each political party obtained $1.579 million for the simple fact of being an organization recognized by the Electoral Tribunal. Additionally, the five parties that competed in the 2014 elections have more than $30 million in financing paid from the taxes of all citizens, and that they are distributed according to the votes received in the last presidential election. This is a perverse scheme that does not disguise the inequality in public financing, and that also subjects independent candidates to the campaign spending caps applicable in this election, and to the rule that electoral advertising can only be paid with public funds. In a perfect world, in which there were no National Assembly forms, donations to foundations controlled by deputies or the mysterious $400 bats, it could be assumed that unequal competition is casual. A task for the next commission of electoral reforms.-LA PRENSA, Mar 9


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