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OSCE calls for more transparency in funding

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says Switzerland should consider more stringent rules on political party and campaign financing.

This content was published on April 6, 2008 - 15:24

It made the recommendation in a report on last October's Swiss parliamentary elections.

The Vienna-based organisation, of which Switzerland is a member, said the issue of financing had become "increasingly controversial" in the country.

An OSCE mission invited to observe the elections said many people had indicated that undisclosed funding allowed powerful interest groups and individuals to influence elections and in particular referendums on issues that concerned them.

It noted there were no legal provisions on party and campaign financing at federal level, adding that political parties could receive unlimited funds from any source without any requirements of disclosure.

In a related issue, the OSCE also said that an increase in votes from Swiss living abroad might be achieved if, for example, Swiss consulates were involved in the "swift delivery" of ballots.

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