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The bill on the financing of political parties was the subject of debate during the program “Au Cœur de l'Info” with Nawaz Noorbux, on Radio Plus, yesterday.

From the outset, former minister Pradeep Jeeha, who sat on Emmanuel Leung Shing's Select Committee in 2002, speaks of the “irony” of the fact that the government is proposing a bill on the financing of political parties for a second time, which was not passed in 2019. According to him, the lack of consensus, once again, would be due to a lack of consultation with the parliamentary parties who, he recalls, had called for a new Select Committee on the subject.

Former minister Sangeet Fowdar explains that it is difficult to arrive at a standard law that is acceptable to all. “There are no two political financing laws in the world that are the same,” he says. And asks: “Ki pa bon dan sa lalwa la?” He recalls that he intervened in 2019 on the bill at the time and made it clear that “something is better than nothing at all”. “Amendments to improve the law will always be necessary to stay up to date,” he maintains.

Timing

Stating that he has no wish to defend the current administration, Sangeet Fowdar nevertheless wanted to point out that it was under the government of Pravind Jugnauth that such a bill was presented to the National Assembly for the first time. “It is up to the opposition to vote for the bill and make the desired amendments later. Moreover, if the opposition is so convinced of winning the next elections as it claims, let it vote for the bill,” he urged.

For journalist and observer Rajen Valayden, it is not on the eve of elections that such a bill should be debated in parliament. According to him, this would demonstrate that there is no real will of the political parties on the issue. “Whether it is the government or the opposition, 'they don't mean business when it comes to political financing'. And this is because they have no interest in there being transparency in the donations they receive,” he says. While he concedes that the Prime Minister brought the bill twice to parliament, it would be according to him “only for form's sake, above all, it is an opportunity for his deputies to discredit the opposition.”

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