48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?




Article 34


6. The financial resources forming the election fund shall be kept at a special temporary bank account, opened in the financial bodies by the corresponding election commission after registration of the candidate or the party list. No income shall be charged or paid for this account. The right to give the name of the election fund for the purposes specified in this Constitutional Law shall belong exclusively to the candidate and the political parties, which have nominated their party lists. The banks shall submit to the corresponding election commission a weekly report on the transfers to the funds to the special temporary bank accounts as well as on spending. Upon the inquiry of the corresponding election commission, the same data shall be provided within twenty four hours. The order of spending the money from the election funds and the corresponding financial institution shall be determined by the Central Election Commission.


 9. Within five days after establishment of the results of the elections, the candidate and the political party shall be obliged to present to the corresponding election commission a report on the estimation of the funds from the election fund. The two thirds of the financial resources from the election fund that have not been spent for the electoral campaign shall be transferred to the republican budget, and one third shall be returned to the candidate and the political party.

 (Constitutional Act of the Republic of Kazakhstan, On Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1995 available at https://www.election.gov.kz/rus/normativno-pravovaya-baza-vyborov/zakon-respubliki-kazakhstan/zakon-o-vyborakh-v-respublike-kazakhstan.php  accessed January 2018).


The bank reports to the CEC on a weekly basis on account activities. In a welcome development, following August 2015 amendments to a CEC resolution, the CEC is now obliged to publish campaign finance overviews twice a month in the campaign period. For these elections, the CEC published two overviews on 3 and 16 March.  However, these only provided the total amounts received and spent per party. The lack of information on donors and how the funds were spent negativel impacted on voters’ ability to make an informed choice. In addition to bank reports to the CEC, political parties are required to submit a report on all campaign finances within five days of the announcement of election results. On the basis of these reports the CEC published an overview of the total amount received by each party and the sources of those funds.  The law is silent on the content or format of campaign finance reports and therefore there is no obligation on the CEC to fully disclose the sources of funding and detail the expenditures of the parties. This further limited the transparency of campaign finances. To enhance transparency, detailed and standardized campaign finance reports could be considered, including full data on the sources of funding and the expenditures. Such reports should be publicly available and posted on the CEC website.

(OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report, Republic of Kazakhstan, Early Parliamentary Elections 20 March 2016, available at http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/kazakhstan/248781?download=true accessed January 2018).

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