Monday, Sep 27, 2021

Government Commission approves first block of electoral reforms

Government Commission approves first block of electoral reforms

The presiding magistrate of the TE warned that some modifications approved in the first block of electoral reforms represent a setback.
This Thursday the first block of electoral reforms was approved in the Government, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Commission of the National Assembly.

Upon leaving the session, the presiding magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal (TE), Heriberto Araúz, regretted that they were not allowed as representatives of the electoral body to support 17 articles that were eliminated from the proposal, and stated that "there are some setbacks in this approval of this first block, remember that the Commission has decided to divide it into three blocks.”

According to Araúz, the position of the TE is that a large part of the eliminated articles are related to public financing, "some of this elimination of articles imply a setback with respect to what was advanced with the latest reforms."

The topics of concern for the TE are about free application and more equitable distribution of public funding between political parties and free application.

Judge Araúz also pointed out that new articles were approved of which they never received the proposal to know it.

"While it is true that the Court urges that this project be approved, because we are against time, this progress cannot be detrimental to the improvements," said Araúz.

Deputy Víctor Castillo denied that what was approved by the Commission represents a setback. "At the end of the day, the debate takes place in the Assembly ... we are talking about new articles, but they are in the Electoral Code in force, if the setback occurs, it is a setback entirely of themselves made by themselves."

During the discussion in the first debate of Bill 544, a proposal that allowed individuals and legal entities convicted to be donors of political campaigns was withdrawn.

The proposal presented by a group of deputies was also eliminated to increase the campaign cap to $20 million for the office of President of the Republic, and to $500 thousand for deputy.

The draft of reforms that the TE delivered to the Assembly proposed that these amounts remain at $7,500,000.00 and $225,000.00, for the president and deputy, however both options were discarded and in their place the current amounts will be maintained. Electoral Code, that is, $10,000,000.00 and $300,000.00.

Today articles 1 to 75 were addressed, and next week it is expected to debate from 76 to 119.

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