Political party electioneering finance is a subject which deserves more consideration than it receives in Africa. Efficiently and expensively administered elections in which at most only one party can afford the costs of an effective and sophisticated campaign represent a very partial fulfilment of democratisation, yet such contests are normal in the region. As well as providing useful insights in any assessment of electoral equity, examining the how parties finance their operations often helps to illuminate broader questions concerning the ways in which they attempt to build support. Free and fair elections require strong parties as much as they need efficient administrators, yet in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, as is generally the case further afield, legitimate public expenditure is predominantly concentrated on electoral bureaucracies: parties are supposed to fend for themselves. In this paper we will first consider some of the ways in which parties try to finance their operations before turning to the second question of how they spend the money they raise or use the resources they succeed in obtaining.
File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections