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Brazil: Superior Electoral Tribunal Issues Resolution Regulating Banking Secrecy of Political Parties

(Jan. 6, 2015) A resolution issued by the Superior Electoral Tribunal of Brazil in December 2014 put an end to the banking secrecy of political parties and expanded the supervision of resources received by them to include non-electoral periods. Resolution No. 23.242 (Resolução TSE [Tribunal Superior Eleitoral] No. 23.242, JUSTIÇA ELEITORAL [ELECTORAL COURT]) was published on December 30, 2014, and entered into force on January 1, 2015. The Resolution aims to close loopholes that allowed the possibility of hidden donations to political campaigns, which had not required the identification of the donor. (Justiça Eleitoral Acaba com Sigilo Bancário dos Partidos, VEJA (Jan. 5, 2015).)

Political parties are now required to have three separate bank accounts: one for party funds, one for campaign donations, and one for other resources. In addition, banks will be required to report every 30 days to the Electoral Court identifying all donations made in that period. (Id.)

The Special Fund for the Financial Assistance of Political Parties, or Party Fund (Fundo Partidário) was established by article 38 of Law No. 9,096 of September 19, 1995 (Lei No. 9.096, de 19 de Setembro de 1995, PLANALTO). That Law determines that the Party Fund consists of fines and penalties imposed under the Electoral Code and related laws; financial resources provided by law, on a permanent or occasional basis; donations from individuals or legal entities, made through bank deposits directly to the account of the party fund; and budgetary allocations from the federal government (União). (Id.)