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Battle Royal Over Alliance Election Money

7 April 2002

There will be a 'battle royal' between the Alliance factions over just which part will qualify for public funding for election broadcasts, says National MP Tony Ryall.

"At stake is which faction will get the all-important TV advertising time during the election campaign. "

Last election, the Alliance received $169,000 in taxpayers' money to pay for radio and television promotion (Dominion 14 July 1999). The battle over funding will be fought before the Electoral Commission, which includes the Prime Minister's representative David Caygill.

"At the core is the question of which faction can lay claim to the 'heritage' of the Alliance Party. That will be a difficult decision and it is quite likely neither will fare well. "Jim Anderton's political vehicle must have been registered for at least 3 months before allocation date (still to be set) to qualify.

"In considering the claims of Ms Harre and Mr Anderton, the Electoral
Commission must consider the following:
* The number of persons who voted at the last general election for the
party and its candidates;
* The number of members of Parliament who were members of that political
party immediately before the dissolution of Parliament;
* Any other indications of public support for that political party such as
the results of public opinion polls and the number of persons who are
members of that political party;
* Whether or not the party is standing a full slate of candidates.
"These points will make it hard for Jim Anderton since he and his six
colleagues will still be Alliance Party MPs when Parliament ends this
year.

"Frankly, the sham of Anderton trying to get taxpayers' money for a party opposing the party he leads will put the Electoral Commission in a difficult position. But without TV time, Anderton will be sunk" says Mr Ryall. Last election NZ First received $94,000 and Mauri Pacific $38,000.

Ends

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