Funding during Swiss elections to become more transparent

Funding during Swiss elections to become more transparent

Some of Switzerland’s biggest firms, which includes banks, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms have donated a minimum of CHF 5million to political parties and their candidates, as a result of a survey conducted. This is done annually, by 30 firms that have admitted making these donations. However, one-third of these 30 have refused to release a statement about the amounts that have been donated. The biggest donor out of the 30 firms was the Credit Suisse bank, which donated CHF 1 million, which is followed by Novartis, CHF 590,000, then UBS bank and other insurance firms such as Swiss Re and Swiss Life, that have given CHF 500,000.

While some companies would not admit, it has been observed over the years that funding in the electoral process has been a taboo in Switzerland. No company or firm agreed to reveal the total amount of donations made or even the names of the candidates who received the money. Recently, sincere efforts have been made by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) to ensure transparency amongst the political parties and the financial status and allocation of the elections. This is because Switzerland is the only country, as compared to the 47 other members of the Council of Europe, that do not have a law to govern the financing of the political parties. While the country is working on ensuring certain steps are taken to ensure transparency, the final say on the issue is of the voters and their decision with regards to solving the problem.

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