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EghtesadOnline: The parliament approved the general outlines of a bill that aims to increase transparency in election campaign financing ahead of the 11th round of Majlis elections due to be held on Feb. 21, 2020.

On Tuesday, Iranian parliamentarians took steps to adopt new policies and proposals that would require greater disclosure of political spending, ICANA reported.   

The Majlis is to make a final decision on the legislation in about two weeks, hoping that the bill could be signed into law before the fast-approaching election.

Hosseinali Haji-Deligani, a member of Majlis Plan and Budget Commission, provided a detailed account of the bill that is meant to counter the corrupting power of money in elections, according to Financial Tribune.

According to the legislator, the transparency measure envisages a range of provisions, including the disclosure of private donations, public financing and the candidates' personal properties. 

He explained that "public funding must be fairly divided between the candidates to be used for setting up campaign offices, organizing public gatherings, placing advertisements and paying staffers". 

Before the last Majlis election in 2016, discussions on political spending questioned the integrity of the campaign finance system. 

The timely introduction of finance reform bill is designed to address voter concerns over campaign contributions and expenditures.

Haji-Deligani believes increased transparency will act as a deterrent to candidates who intend to overspend to raise their chances of winning parliamentary seats. 

The lawmaker is wary of electoral splurging in light of the ailing economy and the possible popular backlash over the funding of campaigns from the government budget.

Ali Asghar Yousefnejad, a member of Majlis Presiding Board, expects the law to be ready for implementation before the 11th Majlis elections, anticipating unanimous support in the parliament's next session for the "very good" bill.

Haji-Deligani is hopeful that promoting financial transparency in the next election will help build trust and prompt greater participation among disillusioned voters. 

 

Improve Iran Transparency Parliament Bill Finance Election Campaign