SIEO therefore in a statement yesterday warned those who have contested the Election but have not filed their statement of accounts to do so before July 20th.
SIEO said it is a requirement under the electoral law (Section 69 of the Electoral Act 2018) that all candidates, successful and unsuccessful, must file their Statement of Account 90 days after the publication of election results.
“Election results were published on 19th April, therefore the final day for the submission of candidates’ Statement of Account is Saturday, 20th July 2019.”
SIEO reminded candidates that failure to complete and file their Statement of Account in the approved Form provided under Regulation 9A of the Electoral (Amendment) Regulations 2019, carries a penalty of $20,000 or 2years imprisonment or both.
“A $100 fine will also be imposed daily after the lapse of the due date (July 20th) on top of the above penalty for candidates who failed to meet the deadline.
“The Form requires candidates to make two declarations; a) about funds received and expenses incurred and b) that she/he has not received donation from a foreigner,” the statement said.
These declarations, contained in the Form, are important because they are related to offences under Sections 125(1) and 125(3) of the Electoral Act.
SIEO added that a number of candidates have filed their returns but failed to complete the declaration which rendered their statement of account to be incomplete.
“All candidates must file their Statement of Account on the Form approved by the Commission as required under Regulation 9A of the Electoral (Amendment) Regulations 2019 made pursuant to Section 69(2) of the Electoral Act. This Form is accessible in hard and soft copies from the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.”
The Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala is encouraging all candidates who contested the 3rd April National General Election to take immediate steps to file their Statement of Account relating to funds received and expenses incurred during their campaign leading up to the General Election.
CEO Saitala confirmed that although similar provisions in the previous electoral law were never enforced, Sections 69 and 125 of the new Electoral Act 2018 will be enforced.
“I would like to encourage therefore all remaining candidates who contested the 2019 General Election to comply with Section 69 of the Electoral Act.
“We have less than two more weeks for you to file your Statement of Account or face hefty fine spelt out by the law,” Mr. Saitala said.
- SIEO Press