30 November 2012

Kenya: Bill to Regulate Campaigns Expenditure Before House

A Bill seeking to usher in a law regulating the money politicians spend during campaigns is finally before the House.

The bill which was formally introduced in the House yesterday proposes that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission be in charge of setting limits for money a party or candidate can spend in the campaigns.

The commission will also set the limit of contributions that a candidate, a political party or a referendum committee may receive from a single source and also set the limit for spending on media coverage.

"No candidate, political party or referendum committee shall exceed the limit prescribed," provides the bill.

IEBC will be setting the spending limits for campaigns at least three months before the election.

"A candidate, a political party and a referendum committee shall disclose the amount and source of contributions received for campaigns for nomination, an election or a referendum," reads the bill.

The disclosure will include total expenditure, sources of the funds and details of donors. First disclosure by candidates and also parties will be done at least twenty days before nomination and the second one twenty days to the election date.

Candidates or a party which fails to comply with the rule of disclosure or give false accounts will be blocked from participating in the elections.

The proposed law provides that where a candidate is disqualified for failure to comply with the disclosure rule, the candidate will not be replaced by another candidate from that political party.

The commission will have the role of verifying sources of funds for a candidate, a political party or a referendum committee.

Parties will also be required to at least three months before the nomination of its candidates submit its campaign expenditure rules to IEBC.

Campaign committees will be required to have records of contribution from the candidate, what has been contributed by the party and those made by persons, organisations or any other lawful source.

Every candidate intending to contest in a party nomination or a candidate who has already been nominated will be required to set up an expenditure committee which must be registered by the party's expenditure committee.

A candidate will be disqualified from contesting in the election if he or she fails to establish an expenditure committee. The expenditure committee will be required to open an independent bank account where all campaign funds will be handled.

After the nominations, each candidate will have seven days within which he or she must submit to the political party and to IEBC expenditure report.

A final expenditure report must be produced three months after the elections. Parties will also submit reports on their campaign expenditures within three months after the elections.

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