Lesotho

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Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
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5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
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7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
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9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeNo
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11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeNo
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13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
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16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeNo
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17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
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18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeNo
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19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
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20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeNo
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21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
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22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    Section 71(3)(b)(iv) of the National Assembly Electoral Act of 2011 (hereandafter as the Act) relates only to moneys allocated to a political party from the Consolidated Fund for contesting elections that may not be used to directly or indirectly invest in any business or property.

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24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
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26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
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27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Section 70 of the Act defines that funds and donations shall be deposited into and elections expenses paid from, the bank account contemplated in Section 24(6)(k) of the Act. Section 72(5) of the Act further states that a candidate or a political party registered with the Commission that has received funds shall maintain a separate bank account and place all funds received into that account.

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Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeYes, regularly
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29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeShare of votes in previous election
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30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeProportional to seats received
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31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeCampaign spending
  • Comment

    Section 71 of the Act states that funds received from the Consolidated Fund for contesting elections (a) may be used only to defray expences incurred in contesting elections, including the propagation of the political parties or candidate´s views and elector education, and (b) may not be used to (i) defray personal expenditure not related to contesting elections, (ii) pay a fee, reward, benefit or remuneration to any candidate or officer of a political party, (iii) reward any elector in order to vote or to vote in a certain manner, and (iv) directly or indirectly invest in any business or property. Section 72(4) of the Act further defines that any funds received by a political party registered with the Commission in terms of Section 71 shall only be used for politically related activities.

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32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeYes
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33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment

    Despite there is no specific information on the allocation conditions, Section 67 of the Act defines that: (1) a political party registered with the Independent Electoral Commission shall have the right to have the substance of its campaign propaganda reported on news broadcasts of the Government-owned media and in any newspaper in circulation in Lesotho. The case of news broadcasts in Government-owned media is regulated as follows: (a) the content of the news shall be professionaly determined by the media, (b) the media shall maintain neutrality in the manner of reporting the news of the campaign propaganda of a political party registered with the Commission and generally in its commentaries, and (c) the Commission shall monitor the news broadcasts and shall ensure news coverage of the campaigning by the political parties registered with the Commission. The Commission shall further, by arrangement with the Government-owned media, allocate tima on the radio and television during which political parties may be allowed to speak or appear in campaigning for elections and the Commission shall determine the allocation of time to each political party. (2) No political party registered with the Commission may broadcast commercial advertisements for its campaign on Government-owned media.

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34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Section 58 of the Act states that the Chapter 5 - Election Campaigns, where this particular provision is included, applies to campaigns of independent candidates and political parties, and reference to "political party" in this Chapter shall be construed as including an independent candidate.

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35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Section 65 of the Act states that the Government and its agencies shall make public facilities available to a political party registered with the Commission on the basis of equal charges for use of such facilities during the campaign period. Section 69 of the Act further states that a local authority shall, in consultation with the Commission, designate places where elections education materials and campaign materials of political parties registered with the Commission may be posted. Political parties registered with the Commission shall be given equal access to the places designated in this Section.

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36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNo
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37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
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Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Section 71(3)(b)(iii) of the Act states that funds received from the Consolidated Fund for contesting elections may not be used to reward any elector in order to vote or to vote in a certain manner.

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39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
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40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
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41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeNo
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42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
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43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeNo data
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44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    However, the Section 67 of the Act allows no political party registered with the Commission to broadcast commercial advertisements for its campaign on Government-owned media.

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45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo data
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46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo data
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Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Section 72(5)(b)(c)(d) of the Act defines that a candidate or a political party registered with the Commission that has received funds shall keep records of all transactions in respect of the bank account in terms of this Section, provide the Commission with a financial statement and report in the prescribed manner within a period of 6 monts after the declaration of the results of elections, and in respect of funds in terms of Section 71 of the Act, provide the Commission with a financial statement and report in the prescribed manner within a period of 3 months after the end of the financial year.

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

    Section 70 of the Act defines that a source of funds or donations exceeding  M200,000 or such amount as the Commission may, by notice published in the Gazette, determine, shall, within a period of 7 days of its receipt, be disclosed to the Commission by the Treasurer of the political party concerned.

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49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    For the purpose of Chapter 5 - Election Campaigns, the Act reference to "a political party" includes both political parties and independent candidates.

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50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo data
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51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeNo
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52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    Section 70 of the Act defines that a source of funds or donations exceeding  M200,000 or such amount as the Commission may, by notice published in the Gazette, determine, shall, within a period of 7 days of its receipt, be disclosed to the Commission by the Treasurer of the political party concerned.

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53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeNo data
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54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeNo data
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55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeEMB
  • Comment

    EMB = Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

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56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeEMB
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57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeCarry out investigation
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58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Forfeiture
  • Comment

    Under Section 72 of the Act, the Commission may (a) recover any amount contemplated in subsection (7) of Section 72 of the Act by civil action, and (b) refuse to allocate funds to a political party registered with the Commission or candidate during elections if (1) the political party or candidate has contravened any provision of Section 70 of the Act, (2) the political party includes any officers of the party who have contravened a provision of Section 70 of the Act, and (3) the candidate is or was an officer of the political party that has contravened a provision of Section 70 of the Act. Section 72 of the Act further states that a political party registered with the Commission which, or a candidate or an officer who, contravenes this section commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine of M10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both. 

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