Candidates for political office must name their donors, otherwise they have broken the law, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides has said.
He made the comments on Twitter, a day after President Nikos Christodoulides released his expenses and revenues for this year’s presidential elections. Christodoulides did not name his donors.
“To those who keep asking us: candidates must publish a list with names of the donations they have received,” Michaelides tweeted out.
“The short tables that have been published do not meet the provisions of the relevant legislation, and the Chief Returning Officer must take measures against the offenders.”
Regarding the role of the Audit Office itself, Michaelides said it checks only candidates’ expenditures in the mass media – ads on television, radio and social media, as well as billboards.
Earlier in the week, Christodoulides published his financials for the election campaign, showing he had exceeded the €1 million spending limit by ostensibly just €19,000.
In the filing, Christodoulides presented a fully balanced ledger – expenses and revenues were exactly the same, down to the last cent.
All revenues came from donations – €93,000 from a transfer made prior to August 5 of 2022, plus €436,000 from individuals, plus €489,000 from legal entities (corporations).
The filing named neither the individuals nor the legal entities.
Earlier, Averof Neophytou (the Disy candidate) and Andreas Mavroyiannis (the Akel candidate) had released their electoral financials – both naming their donors.
In Neophytou’s case, he listed all companies that made contributions by name and registration number.
Christodoulides declared spending of €1,019,356, Mavroyiannis €1,208,152, and Neophytou – who did not make it the runoff – €975,522.
Any amounts over and above the permitted €1 million must be returned to the state.
Excesses in relation to election campaign spending are neither a misdemeanour nor a criminal offence – rather, the candidate must return any excess amount as a ‘penalty’.
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