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Political Finance

It has been said that when you don’t control money in politics, money controls politics.

When money controls democracy, it sets a negative and adverse pattern, which imperceptibly starts to exclude the people without resources. In other words it becomes an exclusive arena for the elite.

Since 1985 this has been a common refrain in Pakistan that politics, especially contesting elections, have become excessively expensive and a show of wealth, making it almost impossible for the common man and woman to enter this race.

But on the other hand it is a reality that political parties need funding before and between the elections. Therefore regulating funding political parties and politicians get is a must to maintain their independence while making decisions. This is a task easier said than done.

The regulation of political finance rests on complete disclosure of assets from time to time, with the public having access to them. It also includes monitoring the sources of funding along with sanctions in case of violations.

In Pakistan the legislators disclose their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) every year. However, the constituents are seldom able to examine them.

As Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) believes transparency is essential to effective democratic governance, it has sifted through the publicly available assets of legislators from 2003 onwards in a bid to share them with the constituents.

Find out what assets the public representatives you voted to legislatures possess.