BRIDGE INTRODUCED TO POLITICAL PARTIES IN HONDURAS

A BRIDGE workshop on Political Finance to the 10 registered political parties in Honduras took place between 9 and 12 May, in the capital of the country, Tegucigalpa. The workshop was organized by UNDP with USAID funding through a citizen security project, which includes initiatives with the civil society as well as the political parties. The workshop intended mainly to familiarize the political parties’ representatives with the new Political Finance, Monitoring and Transparency, Law

The 21 participants also revealed great interest in discussions around other electoral issues particularly pertinent at this moment in the country, such as how to improve participation of Women and under represented groups throughout the electoral process, models and ethics of electoral administration and electoral campaign strategies.

Although representing 10 different competing political parties, the participants worked together in a cooperative and collaborative way, expressing different ideas in a respectful and encouraging manner, and reported this experience as one of the positive practices that should also be observed in real electoral campaign. As one participant said on the first day of the workshop: “Here we are all Hondurans”,

Some of the most interesting and somehow controversial issues discussed during the workshop were the independent versus partisan composition of the EMB, the effects of closed lists versus open lists, the choice of the polling and counting officers (currently representing political parties), the general independence of the electoral institutions and credibility of the electoral process, the roles of political parties, the campaign strategies and how to improve women involvement in political and electoral activities.

Regarding the new political finance, monitoring and transparency law, the participants had the opportunity to read in detail the law and, in groups discuss and clarify the different articles.

At the end, representatives of each political party produced a document of recommendations to their parties to incorporate some of the aspects mentioned during the workshop, in general, towards the consolidation of the political parties as institutions, as well as to implement and respect the new law on finance.

The opening of the workshop was conducted by Alissar Chaker, UNDP Deputy Representative in Honduras and the closing ceremony with the certificates distribution counted with the presence of the two BRIDGE facilitators responsible for the workshop: Jorge Guzman and Fernanda Lopes, Programme specialist in elections from the UNDP Regional Hub (Latin America and the Caribbean), as well as Sergio Membrenio, head of Governance, in the presence of some heads of the political parties represented at the workshop.

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