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Caribbean News Desk radio programme Jamaica’s political parties to receive state funds

Jamaican legislators Friday afternoon passed legislation that will allow state funds to be used to fund the country’s political parties.

The bill to amend Jamaica’s Representation of the People Act was passed in the Lower House of Parliament.

It was then debated and taken through its stages in the Senate but not without objections from both government and opposition senators.

The clause in the Bill that created a stir is one that outlines that registered political parties can receive state funding as long as they comply with obligations outlined in the act.

This includes the submitting of annual financial statements.

The legislation states that the allocated funds can be used to off-set the operational expenses of political parties, pay party administrators salaries and even for utility bill of party offices.

This did not sit well with Government Senator K.D. Knight, who said while he agreed with some aspects of the bill; he was against any funding coming from the public purse.

But even as senators from both sides of the Parliament isles objected to that aspect of the legislations they still vote for its passage.

The legislation was eventually passed with six amendments.

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