, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will set spending limits for election campaigns once the Campaign Financing Bill is passed.
According to the draft Bill sent to the Attorney General by the IEBC, the limits will be informed by factors such as the difference in the geographical size of the electoral area, the type of election, the population in the electoral area, the number of party members in the electoral area, and the communication infrastructure in the electoral area.
Section 13 (1) provides that: “The commission shall, at least three months before an election, by notice in the Gazette set out the spending limits for an election prescribing the total amount that a candidate, a political party contesting for an elective post or a referendum committee may spend during an election period.”
The IEBC will also publish the limit of contributions or loans that a candidate, a political party or a referendum committee may receive, limit of that a candidate, a political party or a referendum committee may receive and the limit for media coverage.
Candidates and parties who exceed the prescribed spending limit prescribed without justification risk disqualification from contesting in that election; or if the case is discovered later, they risk being banned from participating in the next the election.
Section 12.(1) provides that: “A candidate who or a political party or a referendum committee which fails to disclose funds or donations as required will be disqualified from contesting in the election.”
The IEBC will alternatively impose a fine of an amount equivalent to the amount exceeded in expenditure during the campaigns.
Political parties shall be required to submit Party Campaign Expenditure Rules to the commission, at least three months before the nomination of its candidates.
Party candidates are to submit to their political parties and to the IEBC, a preliminary nomination expenditure report, within seven days of nomination and the final expenditure report within three months after elections.
Independent candidates will constitute their own spending committees and are required to submit expenditure reports within similar timelines as political party candidates.
The law on spending also compels political parties to submit their final expenditure reports to the commission within three months after the elections.
Expenditure reports submitted to the IEBC will have records showing all transactions; records showing all assets acquired and commitments entered into, a balance sheet, an income and expenditure statement, a cash flow statement and statements of audited accounts.
The Bill also requires political parties, their candidates and referendum committees- before an election- to fully disclose their sources of funding for purposes of elections or a referendum.
Political parties whose candidates are disqualified for failing to disclose information will suffer at they will not be allowed to field a replacement.
Aspiring candidates have already been banned from fundraising activities as the IEBC seeks to create a level playing field for all contenders.