Which principles should be taken as a basis for financing political bodies from state budget? – SURVEY

Which principles should be taken as a basis for financing political bodies from state budget? – <font color=red>SURVEY  </font>
# 25 December 2008 12:19 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Elnur Mammadli–APA. Separate parties presented proposals on financing political parties from state budget, but the issue remained without solution. Law on political parties adopted in 1992 regulates activity of political parties at present. The law envisages financing of parties according to membership fees and endowments. Great Salvation Party prepared draft law on amendments and annexes to the law on political parties and submitted it to the Parliament. MP Fazil Mustafa, Chairman of GSP told APA that the law should be changed soon.
“I do not expect amendments to the law at present. It is not real to discuss the law in such condition, where current political parties cannot conduct dialogue. The Government is not interested in realization of policy by political parties,” he added.
Mustafa underlined that the draft law envisaged coordinated approach.
“We consider that results of the parliamentary elections in 2005 and presidential elections in 2008 should be taken as basis for financing parties. Methinks, if the parties are financed basing on these two factors, none of parliamentary parties will use it”, he said. MP proposed AZN 15.000 for activity of parties in draft law.
“I think that the party can function with this allocation normally within a month”, he stressed.
MP Panah Hussein approached towards amendments to the law very carefully.
“Recent experience shows that anti democratic tension is strengthened while amending laws. We are careful to propose any issue for amendments to such kind of laws”, he said. In fact, Musavat Party initiated to make a draft law on the abovementioned issue and submit it to the Parliament. They did not take step because of reactionary of law. Hussein reminded that there was such experience in financing of political parties by state budget in the world.
“The law envisages responsibilities of the government as well, but they are not implemented”, he added. Financing parties by the state budget in the world has various criterions.
“Votes and the number of votes collected by MP during parliamentary elections are assumed as a basis”, he said.
MP Arzu Samadbayli said that there should be basis to finance the parties.
“There should be mechanism to determine concrete number”, he added. To him, the government should present allocation without abatement. The government is obliged to do it. I think that the issue will be solved soon. If the government has such kind of opinion, it will be taken into account while discussing the state budget,” he stressed.
Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu said there was no need “to reinvent the wheel” again. He said funding of political parties was based on the results of parliamentary elections in the world. “It can not be taken only the number of parliamentarians into account in Azerbaijan, because whoever can enter into the parliament if he wants. There is no proportional election system on the other hand”. Jalaloglu thinks that wages should also be counted in the party while defining the funding volume. “In the current situation it should be based on the results of parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan and funded taking minimum consumption basket into consideration”. Jalaloglu said at the present time ADP needed in 15 thousands AZN monthly to meet its managing needs. The party chairman said they would make their proposals on this issue during the discussions at the parliament.
Deputy Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) Mubariz Gurbanli told APA that funding of political parties from the state budget was in the focus of public community for a long time and there were different proposals. “This issue was discussed at the parliamentary commissions too. We also have own proposals. We consider that the government support to the parties should be carried out through allocations from the state budget. These resources can be shared differentially among the parties winning certain votes in the elections. Public support to the party should be laid on the basis of this issue”. Gurbanli did not give concrete answer to the question about the YAP monthly expenditures. “We are making public the party’s financial report half-yearly and all figures are described in those reports”.
Press and campaign secretary of the Azerbaijan National Independence Party (AMIP) Ali Orujov said his party was functioning with minimum financial resources for several years already. He said AMIP had 64 regional organizations and it needed in huge resources to manage them. Maintenance of the party’s headquarters, payment of the staff members and arrangement of various events demand financial resources and Orujov considers that AMIP’s normal monthly expenses are around AZN 30-40 thousand.
Head of the Musavat Party’s Central Office Arif Hajili told APA that Musavat has serious financial problems now and they have to be restricted with minimum resources to do their work. “A normal activity of the party demands huge money. There are different experiences in the different parties. Millions dollars of resources are allocated to the parties in Turkey and Poland. This figure is about one hundred thousand in Georgia. Azerbaijan has quite serious budget and if it allocates more resources than Georgia it will be useful”. Hajili did not make clear the party’s monthly expenses. “There can be different figures. The larger the resources, the better it will be. Therefore it is difficult to say any figure”. Hajili said the party had proposals on the issue and Musavat faction would raise this issue during discussions of amendments and changes at the parliament. He said there was no need to elaborate special project on it.
Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AXCP) Fuad Mustafayev urges to use the world experience in funding of the political parties. He thinks that only the results of parliamentary elections should be taken into consideration in this field. “Currently AXCP is managing with the minimal resources and the party’s activity was restricted. I can’t say exact figure about the party’s expenditures and simply the party doesn’t need in so large resources to provide its activity. In any case it is so little in compare with the resources spent for construction of bridges”.
Mustafayev said that the party’s proposals concerning the issue had been published in media.
“We presented concrete projects to the parliament on other issues, but they were not taken into consideration. We can present a project on the parties’ financing, if necessary. But we consider that there is no need to amend the law, only an item on the parties’ financing should be added to the law,” he said.
Chairman of Classic Popular Front Party Mirmahmud Miralioglu told APA that the parties should be financed by government. He considers that financing should take into consideration the party’s participation, place in the parliamentary, local and presidential elections.
“I can not say the exact figure. All parameters office, utility expenses, personnel should be taken into consideration. An expert’s opinion is needed to specify this figure,” he said.
According to Mirmahmud Miralioglu, if the law is discussed in the parliament, Classic Popular Front Party will also out forward its proposals.
How are parties financed all over the world?
Political scientist Rasim Musabayov told APA that in most cases it is based on parties’ participation and votes gained in the elections.
“In some cases it depends on the number of the parliamentarians. But it is regarded as an unfair approach, because there are cases when a party gains 49 percent of the votes in all election constituencies, but is not represented in the parliament. In this case it can not get financial support. That’s why it depends on the number of votes. In most cases not only financing, but also the party’s existence depends on its participation in the elections. If the party participates in the elections, it keeps its registration and get financial support from the state budget. If the party refuses to participate in the elections, financing is out of discussion,” he said.
As regards the form of financing of Azerbaijani parties, Musabayov said it would be discussed with the parties.
“If every party gets financial support from the government soon after the registration, it will become a profit for a number of parties. This approach will not be right. Every registered party should participate in the elections, because it requires efforts. This is service before the state and society. The party will get financial support depending on the society’s assessment,” he said.