Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) Executive Director Matt Aubry yesterday urged the Minnis administration to implement campaign finance reform before the next election.
When asked about a timeline for campaign finance reform last week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis told reporters that he has seven more years to bring the legislation.
Campaign finance was a campaign promise of the Free National Movement (FNM) leading up to its election victory in 2017. Now, nearly three years into the term, there has been little progress on the matter.
“We hear mention of seven years, but nothing is certain,” said Aubry in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
“And what we understand, is these things need to happen as soon as possible. If they can’t, why not? What needs to be in place?”
He added, “That is part of what we’re looking for — clear timelines, clear information, clear guidelines as to when things will happen and when we can expect that.”
Aubry said the legislation is crucial for several reasons.
“Campaign finance is essential because it moves forward these issues of transparency and openness that are really a part of modern democracy,” he said.
“Research has shown that campaign finance laws can help to build fair and diverse elections, so we make sure that more people are involved, when we talk about wanting more women involved, people from different communities, people with different socioeconomic perspectives in the halls of government. That’s one of the benefits that comes from campaign finance [legislation].
“When you talk about restoring public trust, having more even and fair elections; when all these things come from this one piece of legislation, it’s crucial.”
Attorney General Carl Bethel said last week that campaign finance legislation is a priority for the Office of the Attorney General.