The Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. 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.
The last day for a candidate to file his/her Statement of Account is Saturday, 20th July 2019.
Mr. Saitala confirmed that this is a requirement under Section 69 of the Electoral Act 2018. “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 and, therefore, I have determined the final day for the submission of candidates’ Statement of Account to be Saturday, 20th July 2019.” Mr. Saitala said.
Mr. Saitala added, “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.”
CEO Saitala confirmed that his office has received less than 30 Statement of Account as of this week. 10 of these Statements have been assessed to be incomplete and candidates concerned need to correct those Statements before they can be regarded as complete. “They have been informed by my office and failure to correct their Statement of Account by Saturday, 20th July, means that those candidates have yet to comply with Section 69 the Electoral Act 2018. Section 125(2) will therefore applies”, Mr. Saitala said.
CEO Saitala 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. 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. 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.
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 two more weeks for you to file your Statement of Account”, Mr. Saitala said.
Source: SIEC Media Release