The Chamber of Deputies last night unanimously approved the political party financing law of Uruguay, but will return to Senate after undergoing changes in the articles, which must be endorsed.
After a large number of meetings, associations, comings and goings between the legislators of the different parties – and with the unprecedented agreement between the Broad Front, he Colorado Party and the Independent Party for the formation of the project, to which was added the support of Town meeting-; Finally, the Lower House approved the political party financing law, one month within the election year.
This is the most important advance that a project that revolves around clear financing rules of the political parties during the electoral campaigns he had in two legislatures. And he will pass to the Senate with votes from all parties, as was sought from the beginning.
The regulations include, among other things, the mandatory banking of all contributions greater than 7 thousand Indexed Units (UI), bumpers for the contributions that each candidate can make to their campaign, an article that authorizes the Executive Branch to also ensure that votes for municipalities entail a payment from the State and another that authorizes up to almost tripling the amount that the State can currently give per vote to mayor—passes from 13 IU to 35.
Debate over articles
The longest part of the vote was the treatment of the articles, since certain discrepancies remained that had been dragging on and could not be resolved by the commission. The problematic articles were those referring to the election advertising in media; mainly, to the distribution of free minutes and the possibility of establishing compensation for the channels.
In this sense, Cabildo Abierto had proposed extending the 15-minute periods during campaigns—as the media law allows today—to 20 minutes, and that half would be distributed free of charge among the parties. In exchange for guaranteeing their support for the authorization of private contributions from companiesthe Colorado Party and the Independent Party accepted this incorporation, which later brought problems with the National Party.
The formula negotiated in the coalition ended up being to empower the Executive Branch to “establish the relevant compensation”, considering “the reference prices paid in the 12 months prior to the internal election by the autonomous entities and industrialized services” to each audiovisual communication medium. The Frente Amplistas did not support the idea of compensation.
Now it will be the Senate’s turn to ratify or modify the project again, resolving the issues that were pending in the Lower House.