Portuguese gov't prepares to defend party funding bill after presidential veto

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-04 00:39:56|Editor: yan
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LISBON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The governing Socialist Party (PS) on Wednesday said it was ready to offer "greater clarity" in relation to a party finance bill vetoed by the president.

Controversial changes to party finance rules were approved by parliament on Dec. 21. But the president of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa vetoed the bill late on Tuesday, citing a lack of transparency.

The PS parliamentary leader Carlos Cesar admitted to journalists that there had been a "lack of publicity and information" when the new legislation was announced. But Cesar refused to be drawn on whether the PS would redraft the bill.

The new law legislated that the independent Political Finance and Accounting Body approves party accounts at the first instance, in accordance with a Constitutional Court request.

However, it also removed the upper limit on how much money a party could collect through fundraising initiatives and waived VAT on all political party activities. The president demanded more explanation on these two motions.

The Central Social Democratic-Popular Party and the People Animals and Nature Party hailed the president's intervention, having voted against the law in the first place.

The PS, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Portuguese Communist Party and the Left Bloc all voted in favor.