Civil Society Claims Fines for Candidates Too Small
Kabul- Civil society activists on Monday claimed that the fines mandated by the Election Law for violations were insignificant amounts, making it easy for candidates to pay the fines and continue their wrongdoing.
Based on the election law, the candidates are allowed to spend no more than 10 million on their campaigns. Going beyond this amount is a violation of the election law, and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is obliged to investigate the issue.
“The candidates spend too much money these days. But they either deny that they have or get away with it by paying fines,” said Mohammad Naeem Nazari, executive director of Civil Society Network.
The civil society institutions have said that if a candidate could spend thirty million Afs in an election campaigns, they could very easily pay the fine amount.
“It is quite difficult to keep track of the campaign expenses. We have specific ways to monitor the expenses; they [the candidates] must report on their expenditures quarterly,” the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, added.
The election commission has reported on undertaking serious measures for the implementation of the election law. However, the civil society institutions have demanded amendment of the election law.
“Any reported violations would be referred to the ECC. The complaints commission would deal with it according to the law,” ECC secretary, Nadir Mohseni, stated.
Some presidential candidates, too, had raised concerns over the fine in the past. They had said that the money was insignificant as compared to the amount spent on campaign programs. The issue is likely to challenge the candidates’ accountability in regards to their campaigns expenses. (ToloNews)