Radikale reveal details about party donors

Coalition partner hopes to set a good example ahead of negotiations to improve the transparency of party financing

In an attempt to encourage increased political transparency, government coalition party Radikale has released extra details about the donations it received ahead of the 2011 general election.

Current rules stipulate that parties have to publish the names of donors who contribute more than 20,000 kroner to a political party, but the actual amount of the donation can remain a secret.

Radikale revealed over the weekend that it received 450,000 kroner from the shipping giant A.P. Moller Maersk and 750,000 kroner from the industry lobby group Dansk Industri.

“We hope to set a new standard on transparency and would like to see it influence negotiations about the reform of party funding rules,” party spokesperson Jeppe Mikkelsen told Politiken newspaper. “But we will implement [increased transparency] regardless of what happens in the negotiations.”

Far-left party Enhedslisten is also pushing for increased transparency on party funding and has released extra details about its budgets for the local elections in the autumn. The party revealed that it had around  1.6 million kroner available to fund its local election campaign in Copenhagen.

Parliament has already agreed to take a look at party funding rules ahead of the next general election and will examine the rules about donations that are given directly to candidates to fund their personal election campaigns.

While an election campaign can cost a candidate several hundred thousand kroner, political candidates are entitled to keep details about their donors a secret.

Parliament’s two main parties, the ruling Socialdemokraterne (S) and opposition party Venstre (V), are both hesitantly supportive of re-evaluating party funding rules.

“We will of course play according to the relevant rules,” S party secretary Lars Midtiby told Politiken. “We won’t play according to different rules than Venstre, but we also said it is sensible to take a look at the rules about transparency. That’s why we have planned to take a look at increasing transparency before the next election.”

V has already expressed concern about the “indirect support” that left-wing parties such as S receive from trade unions.

“During the last election, Socialdemokraterne candidates received a lot of support and practical help from the trade unions,” V spokesperson Inger Støjberg told Politiken. “We also need to take a look at that.”





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