Government to seal lid on secret donations

Government to seal lid on secret donations
Photo: Henrik Ström/Flickr
The Swedish government wants to protect the identities of political party donors, a proposal that left the opposition crying foul on Monday. Sweden remains one of few EU countries without total party-funding transparency.
The government coalition has proposed that the public be given access to the names of any donor that gives more than 22,200 kronor ($3,426) to a political party. The proposal's failure to fully outlaw anonymous contributions has critics up in arms however, a predictable finale to months of wrangling and a cross-party stall in negotiations.
Talks between the government's four parties and the opposition parties fell apart in October last year. The government said already then that it would come with its own proposal regarding party donations, with an aim to have new rules introduced and passed by parliament before national elections in September.   
Sweden has no specific legislation pertaining to political party donations, which sets it aside from many of its neighbours and which has drawn criticism from the Council of Europe. 
The final proposal, however, neither lifts the lid on anonymity nor does it extend the proposed new rules to county and municipal level – two omissions that drew heavy flack on Monday. 
MP Björn von Sydow, Social Democrat parliamentary whip and member of the Riksdag committee on constitutional affairs (Konstitutionsutskottet – KU), was left unimpressed by the draft proposal.
"It's a huge shortfall that it doesn't prohibit anonymous donations and that it doesn't apply to municipal and county elections," he told the TT news agency, adding that his party would be presenting its own proposal to the Riksdag. He said that he believed the opposition Left Party and the Greens would do the same thing. 

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