Government to ram EFB through next week.

National Business Review (NBR) – Business, News, Arts, Media, Share Market & More

NBR is reporting that the Government intends to ram the Electoral Finance Bill through parliament next week in order to avoid the legal challenge by John Boscawen.

[quote]The government will ram through its draconian Electoral Finance Bill through Parliament by the end of next week – two months earlier than the Crown Law Office told the Wellington High Court.

That will mean that from January 1 all political groups and third parties in next year’s elections will be subject to restrictions in the bill, which the Human Rights Commission called “a dramatic assault on … cherished rights to freedom of expression and the right to participate in democratic elections.”

It also means that the bill will most likely be law before the High Court has had a chance to decide whether it will determine if the law breaches the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Crown Law officials told the High Court in Wellington on Monday that Parliament would not be considering the bill until January 25 next year. On that basis, the court said it would consider whether it can review the Crown law opinion in the last week of November.

Although the chairwoman of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, Labour MP Lynne Pillay, refused to confirm the bill’s timetable on Tuesday, the NBR understands the committee members’ reports have been drafted.[/quote]

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