Workshop on Political Financing in Moldova in November

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UNDP Moldova with cooperation of Central Election Commission (CEC) of Moldova and financial support of Sweden government, held BRIDGE Political Financing workshop for the representatives of CEC and Political Parties. In April 2015 the Law 36 amending a series of national legal acts referring to financing of political parties was adopted. As some provisions of the Law 36 will enter in force only as of January 2016, UNDP with the request of the CEC, has supported the organization and delivery of a BRIDGE workshop on political financing in order to introduce to the participants the understanding of the elements of Political Financing and share international practices.

The workshop was conducted by Natia Kashakashvili (expert BRIDGE facilitator – Georgia) and Corneliu Pasat (accrediting BRIDGE Facilitator – Moldova) during 17-20 November, 2015 in Chisinau, Moldova. In total Twenty-two participants (17 female, 5 male) attended the workshop.

The workshop curriculum was reviewed and the team has used new publications of IDEA and IFES as the resource materials. The comparative statistical data was supplemented from the IDEA Political Financing Database.

The agenda of the workshop focused on components regulating Political Financing and implications of each regulatory element. At the beginning of the workshop, the topics oriented participants on the importance of regulating the Political Finance and its main elements: Donation/Contribution limits, Spending Limits, Reporting, Public Funding and Enforcement. On the second day, workshop focused on the International obligations of the elections in terms of Political Finance and highlighted the international covenants governing the regulation of Political Finance. The detailed discussion of the donation and spending limits as well as Public funding elements were presented to the participants. All the sessions were summed up by the statistical data/maps from the IDEA Political Finance database and made participants understand the most popular provisions in terms of regulating these components of the Political Finance. On third day, major focus was on the Disclosure (Reporting) requirements and the most challenging part of Political Finance – Enforcement. Within the enforcement groups talked about the types of the enforcement bodies, it’s role and responsibilities, including auditing and investigation. On the last day, participants were introduced to the different types of sanctions used in Political Finance as well as how to regulate Abuse of State Resources. Finally, Role of the stakeholders in Political Finance was introduced by interactive activity, where each group has taken a role of 1) CEC, 2) Political Parties, 3) Mass-Media, 4) Voters, 5) NGOs. Groups, acquired all the preceding days knowledge, came up with the expectation chart towards each other.

Participants throughout the workshop have expressed interest and actively engaged in all the activities. Some of the activities took longer, as the volume of the material was big and they needed more time to analyze the handouts. Workshop participants have positively evaluated the workshop in terms of content and methodology. At the end of each workshop day as well as at the end of the workshop, facilitation team has evaluated the progress of the sessions and shared ideas for improvement.

Most of the participants commended the style of conducting the workshop and facilitation style of the two facilitators. They have also commended the Workshop content structure and described as opportunity of logically structured knowledge.

Some of the points mentioned by the participants during the final verbal/written evaluation:

  • Political Finance workshop content was difficult, as for most of the participants it was the first time to get introduced to the topic. With the training methodology used, facilitators have simplified this difficult topic for the participants to understand. The workshop was definitely good as they have learnt the key elements of political finance; though at some point, they expected more of Moldova regulations of Political Finance. Most of the participants noted that they would continue reading more about the topic and especially the new regulations that will be drafted by the CEC to be in effect as of January 2016;
  • Most of the participants expressed willingness to attend the following procedural workshop on the Political Finance regulations in Moldova. Also, in case the CEC Moldova will be granted the function of Auditing/Investigating, more procedural details about these tasks.
  • Participants have identified the importance of the workshop as the ability to discuss the Political Finance regulations of Moldova from the perspective to its standards and international practices; therefore, after the workshop they will be able to do more of the comparative analysis.
  • One of the participant mentioned that throughout the group-works conducted there were some of the effective ideas born, so the participant hoped that “new-born ideas won’t be forgotten”.

The workshop has met its objectives: participants are aware of the main components of the Political Finance. They can make comparative analysis of the Political Finance. Though in order to guarantee knowledge of the Moldova Political Finance new regulations, it is recommended to conduct procedural workshop on political financing regulations in Moldova.

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