He who pays the piper...

2 March 2015

The sources of party funding have long been obscure in Peru, and the interests of democracy demand much greater clarity on this issue. With only a year to go before the 2016 election campaign, and with the costs of mounting presidential campaigns constantly increasing, there are growing demands for measures to force candidates to come clean about where they receive their money.

The question of whether election campaigning should be funded (at least in part) by the state has long been an issue of debate that is so far unresolved. Widespread disaffection in Peru’s political leaders does little to make the case for using public money to fund their activities.

The rules governing political parties have long been lax in Peru. The 2003 Law of Political Parties sought to introduce greater control over party funding by insisting that parties submit detailed accounts of their income and expenditure to the electoral authorities. However, its strictures have been largely ignored. The 2003 Law clearly failed in its attempts to build a party system that was strong, accountable and rooted in society.

Recent doubts about the sources of funding of Humala’s Nationalist Party (PNP) in both the 2006 and 2011 elections have further fed the debate about party funding. Prime Minister Ana Jara has said that if the PNP is to come clean about its sources of funding, then so should the country’s other parties.

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    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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