Financial Control of Election Partcipants

Financing the Pre-election Campaign

Financing of parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees

The parties and initiative committees, which have registered candidates, may finance their pre-election campaigns with:

1. own funds of the parties;

2. funds of the members of the initiative committees;

3. funds of the candidates;

4. donations by natural persons.

The coalitions of parties, which have registered candidates, may finance their pre-election campaigns with:

1. own funds of the parties, which participate in them;

2. funds of the candidates;

3. donations by natural persons.

Financing and assisting pre-election campaigns by natural persons

Donation of one natural person for one party or coalitions of parties shall not exceed BGN 10 000 for one calendar year.

Donation of one natural person for one initiative committee and the registered by it candidate shall not exceed BGN 10 000.

For the pre-election campaigns, natural persons may give for free use to parties, coalitions of parties or initiative committees only their own movable and immovable items.

For pre-election campaigns, natural persons may give to parties, coalitions of parties or initiative committees free services, performed by personal labour.

Ban for financing and assisting pre-election campaigns

Ban for financing and assisting pre-election campaigns:

1. with anonymous donations under any form;

2. by legal persons and by one-man traders;

3. by foreign natural persons, with the exception of the persons – nationals of another EU Member State, who have election rights under this Code;

4. by religious institutions;

5. by foreign governments or foreign state undertakings, foreign commercial companies or foreign non-profitable organizations.

The subjects shall not grant for pre-election campaigns movable and immovable items for free use, as well as free services under any form.

It shall be prohibited to use public administrative resources gratuitously for the purposes of the election campaign.

Funds of a candidate or member of an initiative committee

. All requirements for the financing of the pre-election campaign under this Section shall apply also where the campaigns are financed by funds of a candidate or a member of an initiative committee.

Obligations while financing the pre-election campaigns

Where the total amount of the donation by one natural person exceeds one minimum wage, he/she shall produce a declaration according to a form for origin of the donated funds.

The rule shall apply also where the campaigns are financed with funds by candidates and members of initiative committees.

Where one natural person grants for free use own movable or immovable items for the pre-election campaigns, he/she shall produce a declaration according to a form about the ownership of these items.

The revenues and expenses, related to the pre-election campaigns at the value above BGN 1000 shall be done through a bank.

Where the amount of the financial resources exceeds BGN 1,000, the Bulgarian National Audit Office shall carry out verification as to the correspondence between the amount of the financial resources contributed or provided for the relevant election campaign and the amount of the income of the person. The check shall cover the period from the conduct of the previous elections of the same type to the day of submission of the relevant declaration.

For carrying out the verification, the Chairman of the Bulgarian National Audit Office shall request information from the National Revenue Agency and other competent authorities and institutions.

The authorities and institutions shall be obligated to provide the requisite information to the Bulgarian National Audit Office within one month after receipt of the request.

The official carrying out the verification shall have the right to direct access to the electronic database of the authorities and institutions referred to in par. 6. The granting of access shall not exempt the authorities and institutions from the obligation to transmit the information requested by the Bulgarian National Audit Office in writing.

The Bulgarian National Audit Office shall make public the results of the verification by means of the register.

Total amount of the financing

While conducting elections, the total amount of the financing of each pre-election campaign of the parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees shall not exceed:

1. in elections for Members of Parliament:

a) BGN 4 000 000 for parties and coalitions of parties;

b) BGN 200 000 for an initiative committee;

2. in elections for President and Vice President of the Republic and for Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria:

a) BGN 2 000 000 for parties and coalitions of parties and initiative committees for elections for President and Vice President of the Republic, as well as for parties and coalitions of parties for elections for Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria;

b) BGN100 000 for an initiative committee for elections for Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria;

3. in elections for Municipal counsellors and Mayors:

a) BGN 8 000 000 for parties and coalitions of parties;

b) the amounts under Para. 5 for initiative committees.

Within the frames of the total amount of the financing under Para. 1, p. 3 while conducting elections for Municipal counsellors for one candidate for Municipal counsellor may be spent not more than BGN 5000.

Within the frames of the total amount of financing under Para. 1, p. 3 while conducting elections for Mayors of Municipalities, for candidate Mayor of a Municipality may be spent:

1. for a Municipality with population up to 30 000 residents – up to BGN 25 000;

2. for a Municipality with population up to 60 000 residents – up to BGN 50000;

3. for a Municipality with population up to 100 000 residents – up to BGN 100 000;

4. for a Municipality with population up to 200 000 residents – up to BGN 250 000;

5. for a Municipality with population up to 500 000 residents – up to BGN 500 000;

6. for a Municipality with population above 500 000 residents – up to BGN 1000 000

Within the frames of the total amount of financing under Para. 1, p. 3 while producing elections for Mayors of City Halls for candidate for Mayor of a City Hall, may be spent:

1. for a City Hall of population up to 1000 residents – up to BGN 2000;

2. for a City Hall of population up to 3000 residents – up to BGN 6000;

3. for a City Hall of population above 3000 residents – up to BGN 10 000;

The maximum amount of the financing, which the initiative committees may spent for candidates for Municipal counsellors, Mayors of Municipalities and City Halls shall not exceed the amount. The total amount of the finances, which the initiative committees have the right to spend for every pre-election campaign shall include the funds of the candidate and the funds of the members of the initiative committee.

The total amount of the financing, which the parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees have the right to spend for every pre-election campaign shall include all the permitted funds.

Financing elections in one calendar year

While conducting different types of elections in one calendar year, the requirements of Art. 155 shall apply separately for every type of elections.

Designation of Persons Responsible for Financial Resources Raised and Spent and for Bookkeeping

Each party, coalition of parties and nomination committee shall designate a person or persons to be responsible for the financial resources raised and spent and for the bookkeeping of the party, coalition of parties and nomination committee in connection with the election campaign.

The parties, coalitions of parties and nomination committees shall present the names and the positions of the persons referred to in par. 1 to the Bulgarian National Audit Office within five days after the registration thereof to contest the respective type of election, and upon a change in the said persons, within three days after effecting the change.

Producing data for the bank account

The parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees, within the term of 5 days after the registration for participation in a certain type of elections, shall produce before the Audit Office data about the bank account, servicing their pre-election campaign.

Unified public register

The Audit Office shall establish a unified public register of the parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees, participating in the relevant type of elections, which shall be maintained by the next elections of the same type.

The register during the pre-election campaign shall publish:

1. the circumstances under Art. 17 of the Law on the Political Parties;

2.the name of the coalition of parties and the name of the initiative committee and the name of the persons, who represent them;

3. the names of the donators, the type, purpose and amount or the value of the donations made;

4. the name of the natural persons, granted for free use or services for the pre-election campaign, the term of the use, type of description of the granted items for use, the type of services;

5. the declarations of the origin of the donated funds, declarations of origin of the funds of the candidates and members of the initiative committees and the declarations of the natural persons for ownership of the granted items for free use ;

6. the names of the sociological and advertising agencies, as well as of the PR agencies, with which they work.

After the elections, the register shall publish the report.

In the run of the pre-election campaign, the parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees shall submit within three days the new information on paper and electronic media to the Audit Office to be included into the register.

Report about the financing

Within 30 days after polling day, the person representing the party or the nomination committee and the persons representing the coalition of parties shall present a report in hard copy and in soft copy to the Bulgarian National Audit Office on the financial resources raised and spent and the payment obligations assumed in connection with the election campaign, accompanied by a statement of the bank account thereof.

The funds of the candidate and/or of a member of an initiative committee for the pre-election campaign shall be reported in the reports. The reports shall have attached a declaration for origin of the funds in the cases where they are in an amount exceeding one minimum wage.

The reports under Para. 1 shall be drawn up and produced according to a form for every type of elections, confirmed by the Audit Office.

The Audit Office shall publish the reports of the parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees within the term of 15 days after expiry of the term for their producing.

The Audit Office shall check up for compliance the declared revenues and the actually spent costs in relation with the pre-election campaign.

Declaring financing by a Municipal counsellor or Mayor

Within the term of 30 days after his election, every Municipal counsellor or Mayor shall be obliged to declare before the relevant Municipal council the sources of financing and the costs, which he/she has made during the pre-election campaign.

Within the term of up to 14 days after expiry the term, the relevant Municipal council shall submit the declarations to the Audit Office.

Unsettled issues

To any unsettled issues in this Section, the Law on the Political Parties shall apply.

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