BVI elections: official observers concerned about campaign financing

BVI Governor Augustus Jaspert is planning to raise concerns of campaign financing during the 2019 General Elections, saying that campaign financing laws would limit the risk of corruption.

In the preliminary report of the team of international and independent officials, they expressed their concerns that there were no laws that require parties and candidates to divulge the origin of the funding of their campaign, and the ways how it was spent. It was noted in the report that, without adequate legislation on campaign finance, the jurisdiction is not compliant with the UN Convention against Corruption which was extended to the Virgin Islands in 2006. The governor agreed with election observers’ argument, and said that while he is prepared to discuss the issue with the government, it would be left to Premier Fahie to decide if it would be taken forward to Cabinet.

Now the final report from election observers is expected to arrive; in the preliminary report, it was also stated by election observers: “With continuing rumours of vote-buying and corruption by many interlocutors, a lack of financial accountability and legislative provision undermines and erodes voter trust in the system.”

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