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Conference demonstrates Brazil and Germany’s experience with the financing of parties and combat of corruption

Brazil and Germany’s experiences in the areas of financing of political party and combat of corruption were the subjects of the conference done in the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), on Monday (9th). A bilateral forum with the aim of promoting the interexchange of information among both countries, with the presentation of data and alternatives related to both themes.

The event was promoted by the German Embassy, with the support of TSE.  One of the panelists, the vice president of STJ, justice Humberto Martins, highlighted the importance of the conference’s themes, “in the search for elections in which there is the prevalence of the greatest principle, which is transparency, beyond legality and true democracy, of the plain and free exercise of vote.”

The justice stated that the Electoral Justice is effectively contributing so that the 2018 election dispute occurs with more tranquility and, mainly, “with more conscience from the voter, which comes to have more fundaments to choose the best candidates, with ethics and honesty in the electoral process.”

Interexchange and differences

During the debate, the German Ambassador in Brazil, Georg Witschel, and the former justice of the German Constitutional Court, Udo Di Fabio, presented some data that showed the differences amongst the political realities of the European country and Brazil. Germany, for example, has only seven parties and established a total annual limit for the financing of political parties, which is currently fixed at 162 million Euros. This value is recalculated annually.

Witschel remembered that the entire world faces challenges on the financing of political parties, and underlined that facing such challenges is easier when you promote the interexchange amongst the countries. “Unfortunately, we can understand that there is, currently, a certain boredom from the citizens in relation to democracy, and such actions to combat corruption help to change this situation,” he said.

Di Fabio emphasized, in turn, that Germany’s electoral system is balanced and that the financing of parties is just one point of the democratic culture.  “Democracy must know how to deal with parties, candidates and with voters,” he stressed.

For the judge of the Regional Federal Court of the 2nd Region (TRF-2), Marcelo Bretas, in past years there has been a greater interest from the population about the decisions of the Judiciary. “Nowadays we are working with transparency. Society knows the name of the justices and is interested with the decisions,” he stated. The judge emphasized, however, that, when talking about electoral contribution, not everything is what it seems to be. “Many times, in its origin, a contribution can be an act of corruption, which characterizes another crime: money laundering.”

Positive evaluation

The other participant of the conference was the chief adviser of the Advisory of International Affairs of TSE, Ciro Leal, which made the positive evaluation of the initiative. According to him, the event demonstrated that there is a common understanding that, currently, there is a greater efficiency in the combat of corruption.  That, he answered, is due to the cooperation amongst the institutions, the support to the population, which yearns for justice, and the growth in the use of technologies, such as the ones used by the Electoral Justice in order to appreciate the parties’ rendering of accounts.

Ciro concluded the conference stating that the relationship between money and politics is an endless subject. “Any democracy has to sort itself on how to finance their own democracy, parties, and political campaigns.”

Beyond the vice president of STJ, the former justice of the German Constitutional Court and the federal judge of TRF-2, the conference also had the participation of other panelists such as the professors of the Department of Political Science of the University of São Paulo (USP), Bruno Speck and Rogério Arantes. Ciro Leal and the ambassador of Germany in Brazil acted as moderators of the debates.

MM/LR