Brazil’s election campaign financing irregularities that have surfaced during the testimony and investigations into the activities of adman/businessman Marcos Valério could be reduced in the 2006 elections if a political reform bill now in the Chamber of Deputies is approved by the end of September.
At the moment the Chamber of Deputies is hosting an International Conference on the Challenges and Perspectives of Strengthening Brazilian Political Institutions.
Deputy Ronaldo Caiado (PFL-Goiás), who is participating, says that political reform is the only way, in the short-term, to reduce election campaign corruption.
Caiado is also the redactor of the political reform bill. It has already been approved by the Constitution and Justice Commission and now must go to a floor vote.
“The bill eliminates the problem of undeclared, nonregistered funds (which are known as ‘caixa 2’ – coffer 2). If we do not make this change, we will have more P.C. Farias and Marcos Valérios in our election campaigns (Farias was the moneyman for president Collor, who resigned in order to escape impeachment for corruption in 1992)” says Caiado.
Caiado explains that the bill calls for public financing that will go directly to political parties. The political parties will draw up “closed lists” of candidates, which means that voters vote for the party rather than an individual candidate.
The parties will be prohibited from receiving private donations or private sector assistance with advertising. Caiado points out that the practice of party coalitions should also come to an end because they make it possible for candidates with few votes to get elected.
“The bill takes care of the two big election problems we have. Caixa 2 and oversight. It should be approved and put into practice,” says Caiado.