Home » News
TOWARD DEMOCRACY: Munroe wants delinquent candidates prosecuted
Daley, Staff Reporter
SENATOR, Professor Trevor Munroe, yesterday called for the
prosecution of candidates who have still not filed returns
for their campaign spending during last year's General Election.
Munroe said the enforcement of the law was a vital prerequisite
for any further initiatives to control corruption in the financing
of political candidates.
would like to call on the authorities to implement the law
regarding those candidates... who have still not yet made
their returns in accordance with the law," the Professor
said at the symposium looking at elections in Jamaica, including
the issue of campaign financing, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.
The symposium was organised by the Carter Center and the Department
of Government at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
response to questions posed in the Senate by Professor Munroe,
the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) disclosed in March that
more than half the 175 candidates who ran in last year's General
Election, failed to file returns by November 30, 2002 as required
the EOJ published a list which showed that 103 of the candidates
had filed their returns. Based on that list, expenditure for
the governing People's National Party (PNP) candidates in
the election was $50 million.
were followed by the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP),
candidates who filed returns showing expenditure of just under
$16 million. The National Democratic Movement (NDM) was next
with $670,000, followed by the New Jamaica Alliance (NJA)
EOJ decided not to pursue a case against the offenders, arguing
that the penalty for non-compliance under the Representation
of the People Act was only a $100 fine.
Professor Munroe said he did not accept the explanation offered
by the EOJ and argued that the law provided for much stiffer
penalties for failure to comply than the election body had
said that under Section 101 (3) of the Act, persons who fail
to file their returns by the specified date could be fined
up to $80,000 or imprisoned for up to three years. In addition,
the convicted candidate and his agent could be barred from
holding elected office for seven years.
the inadequacies, the rule of law means that whoever is committing
an offence must be brought before the courts," Professor
Senator argued that it was useless to contemplate new laws
to deal with issues of campaign financing for political parties
and candidates, when existing laws were not being enforced.