African Press International (API)

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Kenya is one of the countries that do not have a Political Parties Act

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2007

Nairobi (Kenya) Democracy cannot thrive in countries where there is no law providing for the funding of political parties, an independent watchdog body in Kenya said on Thursday.

The executive director of the National Democratic Institute, Felix Odhiambo said Kenya is among countries in sub-Saharan Africa that do not have a Political Parties Act that seeks to finance political parties.

Odhiambo said that Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan and Zimbabwe are among countries where the state does not fund political parties and warned that under such conditions strong democracy cannot thrive.

He urged the countries to borrow a leaf from Europe where the state financially subsidizes political parties and the United States where private members are allowed to finance parties.

“Democracy is an expensive exercise and for it to be nurtured and sustained governments have to fund the parties for them to effectively participate especially in elections,” he said.

Addressing the media in Nairobi, Odhiambo said that political parties need to concentrate on strengthening democracy in their respective countries rather than spending time and resources looking for money abroad as is the case with Kenyan parties.

He gave examples of African countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa where governments have funded political parties successfully.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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