With parliamentary elections in Moldova less than three months away, debate on the funding of election campaigns is heating up. On 6 December 2018, International IDEA organized Moldova’s first roundtable dialogue on Third-Party Contributions in Political and Campaign Funding, together with the Center for Continuous Electoral Trainings (CICDE).
The event brought together political parties, both from Moldova’s Parliament and those who enjoy substantive support according to the latest public opinion poll. Others included the Central Electoral Commission, Promo-LEX Association, the Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Public Services, and representatives of the EU Delegation in Chisinau. International expertise in political funding was delivered by Lolita Cigane, a former Member of the Parliament and Director of Transparency International in Latvia. She explained how her country had successfully rooted out contributions by shadow foundations as recently as 2016.
The activity provided political parties with a platform to discuss national and international practices, understand the role of third-party contributions in electoral campaigns and how to expand the capacity of oversight agencies. The roundtable discussed how to recognize indirect support for political parties and candidates. Parties recognized that when non-governmental organizations and charities transfer their image to political actors, it becomes non-material indirect support, and with that the responsibility of the oversight body.
All parties expressed the urgent need for clear guidelines, a Code of Conduct for electoral actors and ultimately legislative amendments to regulate third-party involvement. It also laid the basis for further cooperation between political parties, International IDEA, CICDE and state oversight agencies in Moldova.
The roundtable was organized under “Level UP: Political Funding with Integrity”, a project, implemented by International IDEA in partnership with CICDE, with generous financial support from the European Union.