The Political Parties Bill, 1999 - An Analysis (Part I)

"Political parties, no doubt, are essential to democratic governance. They provide the electorate with viable alternatives and a genuine choice among policy directions; aggregate the aspirations and demands of individuals and groups; and channel them through peaceful, constitutional procedures and bodies for policy formulation. While parties in power implement policies in accordance with their mandate, opposition parties monitor governmental actions, publicise abuse of power, and present alternative policies. A flourishing democracy, therefore, requires not the mere existence of political parties for fielding candidates in elections, but also freedom to organise support, and spread their ideas. This edition of Governance is the first of a two part paper, and deals with the founding, registration and conduct of parties, and contribution to party funds. Part Two considers state funding of political parties, the practice in other nations, modalities to be employed, and other related issues."