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24 July, 2024
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New law will require presidential candidates to disclose donations

Proposed amendment would make disclosure obligatory for candidates in 2023 elections with retroactive effect

Pavlos Neophytos

Today (Wednesday, April 26), the Parliament's Institutions Committee began discussing the law proposal submitted by DISY MP and chairman of the Committee, Demetris Demetriou, on behalf of his party's Parliamentary Group, to amend the legislation so that candidates for the Presidency of the Republic have an obligation to disclose the significant contributions they accept (over €500), as provided for contributions to political parties.

"Retroactivity is probably meaningless"

The amendment proposed by Demetriou includes making this obligation also applicable to candidates for the 2023 Presidential Elections, with retroactive effect from 1 August 2022. "This is a political issue, and if we are all aware of what we are doing, we have to accept retroactivity," Demetriou said in his opening statement. He also told the meeting that "I think it is right to include in the legislation that the maximum sponsorship that candidates will accept should be €50,000."

For her part, the spokesperson for the Legal Service expressed the view that retroactivity affects substantive rights, with Mr. Demetriou concluding that the issue of retroactivity "is probably irrelevant".

Report to the Chief Electoral Officer

The proposed law includes the introduction of an obligation for each candidate to submit a report to the Registrar General of Elections, with full details of private contributions, whether monetary or non-monetary, received either by him or his election agent, including a reference to the source of each contribution, i.e. the natural or legal person from which each came.

According to the proposal, an additional paragraph will be added to the Law, which will state that subject to the provisions of the Law on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives, the obligation of an election agent to submit to the Registrar a report concerning the election expenses of candidates, candidates shall, within two months, file a report with the Registrar General of Elections, giving details of all private contributions received by them or their election agent from any source for election purposes. The Registrar, for his part, will be obliged to publish the said report in the official gazette of the Republic within two months.

In the event of failure to file on time, the proposed law provides for a fine of €5,000, with an additional €50 surcharge for each day of delay.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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