IEBC: How much candidates, parties can spend in 2017 polls

August 11, 2016 5:37 pm
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The IEBC statement says it used the population of an electoral area, geographical size and other factors to set the spending limits/FILE
The IEBC statement says it used the population of an electoral area, geographical size and other factors to set the spending limits/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission says the Elections Campaign Financing Act Regulations to monitor expenditure by political parties, presidential and other elective post aspirants will come into effect from February 8, 2017 until the August 8 polls.

In a statement the IEBC, say the regulations which will be carried in Friday’s Kenya Gazette will see campaigns expenditure capped at no more than Sh5.2 billion for presidential candidates in the 2017 race.

Overview
  • MCA aspirants in Turbi, Marsabit, are limited to Sh66,000 while those seeking the same seat in Elwak South, Mandera County, will be allowed to spend up to Sh10 million
  • Other counties with high limits are Nakuru (Sh22 million), Bungoma (Sh189 million), Kilifi (151 million), Kisii (158), Mandera (Sh137 million), Makueni (Sh120 million) and Narok (Sh114 million)
  • Counties with low spending limits include Isiolo (Sh16 million), Tana River (Sh28 million), Taita Taveta (Sh36 million), Marsabit (Sh30 million) and Vihiga (Sh76 million)

According to the regulations, contestants in the Nairobi gubernatorial race such as incumbent Evans Kidero, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, Bishop Margret Wanjiru, Dagoretti MP Dennis Waweru and Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa will be allowed to spend up to Sh432 million each.

Aspirants facing off against Lamu’s Governor Issa Timamy have the lowest spending cap after the commission allowed them to spend no more than Sh13 million.

Those participating in the Mombasa, Kakamega and Kiambu gubernatorial races will be allowed to spend no more than Sh129 million, Sh228 million and Sh223 million respectively.

The IEBC statement says it used the population of an electoral area, geographical size and other factors to set the spending limits.

The strict regulations aim to create a level playing field to eliminate voter bribery, curb misuse of public resources and money from illegal sources.

The law which is Kenya’s first legislation to compel parties and candidates pre-election to fully disclose their poll funding sources also outlines harsh penalties for offenders.

For instance, a person convicted of an offense under the Election Campaign Financing Act, where no penalty is provided, could spend as long as five years in prison.

“Attention of candidates and political parties is drawn to Sections 23 and 24 of the Election Campaign Financing Act 2013, that a person convicted of an offence under this Act, for which no penalty is provided, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh2mn, a prison term not exceeding five years or both,” the IEBC regulations say.

The most severe penalty offered for failure to comply with the regulations include disqualification of the offending candidate from running.

“Attention of parties is drawn to provisions of Section 18(7) of the Election Campaign Financing Act 2013 that a political party which exceeds the prescribed spending limits and fails to report this fact to the Commission commits an offense,” part of the regulations state.

The regulations spell out varied spending limits for each of the 290 constituencies and 1,450 wards in the country.

For instance Lamu East has the least spending limit capped at Sh2.2 million in Lamu East while Mandera South has the highest capped at a staggering Sh33.4 million.

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