Schlettwein announces funding for political parties

28 Apr 2015 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 28 APR (NAMPA) - The Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein on Tuesday explained the formula used for the funding of political parties for the 2015/16 financial year in Parliament.
Schlettwein said his ministry is under the Electoral Act of 2014 required to make two determinations in terms of the provisions of the same Act.
“Firstly, a determination in terms of Section 155 of the Electoral Act of 2014 to establish the formula for funding of political parties and secondly, a determination in terms of Section 161 of the Electoral Act of 2014 to establish the percentage of unspent monies at the end of a financial year that political parties may carry forward to the next financial year,” he explained.
Schlettwein said the determination on the formula for funding of political parties provides that the sources of monies for allocation to political parties should be limited to an amount not exceeding 0.2 per cent of the estimated revenue to be collected in the State revenue fund.
The ruling Swapo-Party which has 101 seats in both houses of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council could receive a maximum of N.dollars 96,7 million; while the official opposition party the DTA of Namibia, which has six seats, could receive a maximum of N.dollars 5,7 million.
The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), which both have three seats, could receive a maximum of N.dollars 2,8 million each.
The All People's Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Workers’ Revolutionary Party (WRP) with two seats each could receive a maximum of N.dollars 1,9 million each.
The remaining parties - the Republican Party (RP), Swanu of Namibia and the United People’s Movement (UPM), who have one seat each - could receive a maximum of N.dollars 958 000.
The finance minister noted that the determination indicates that 0.2 per cent is the maximum allocation, which implies that the allocation can be less than 0.2 per cent of revenue.
“Payment to political parties shall be made quarterly on the first working day in April, July, October and January of each financial year,” he stated.
Schlettwein said he took the initiative to consult with all parties represented in Parliament by sensitising them about the provisions of the Electoral Act of 2014 and the rationale for the formula.
When NA Speaker Peter Katjavivi asked MPs whether political parties have any objections to the announcement, DTA of Namibia president McHenry Venaani said opposition parties accept the formula used for funding political parties for the financial year 2015/16 with the exception that next year a different route on consulting parties will be taken.
Venaani said next year, consultations should take a different form and should look at real political party needs such as the element of secretarial funding. He also urged the private sector to play a role in funding smaller parties.
(NAMPA)
SL/AS/ND