ECJ closely monitoring financing of election campaigns

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ECJ closely monitoring financing of election campaigns

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The announcement of the general election has triggered the campaign period under the Election Campaign Financing legislation, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has advised.

The campaign period begins on the date on which the election is announced (yesterday) and continues through to 24 hours before the time for the opening of the polls on election day, that is Wednesday, September 2.

“Consequently, all gifts, sponsorships and monies contributed to political parties and candidates during this period must be disclosed to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica. Registered political parties and candidates are required to report campaign expenditure and contributions for the period,” the ECJ said.

Contributors may give a maximum of $1.5 million to each candidate and up to $31.5 million to a registered political party. Contributors of $250,000 or more must declare contributions and any government contracts valued at $500,000 or more, which are held or gained up to two years prior or after a contribution.

“Individuals or entities who currently hold government contracts must declare any contribution no later than 14 days of making the contribution. Individuals or entities who are awarded government contracts after making a contribution must declare same within 14 days of entering into the contract,” the ECJ said.

A candidate may spend a maximum of $15 million in election expenses and a registered political party up to $630 million.

Failure to disclose contributions or government contracts held can result in charges not exceeding $1 million and/or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.

“The financing of election campaigns for the September 3 parliamentary election will be closely monitored by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica,” the body said.

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