Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Parties reveal costs of election campaigns

Parties reveal costs of election campaigns

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Grassroots Democratic Party take part in a parade to kick off the campaign period on July 10. Pha Lina

Parties reveal costs of election campaigns

AS voting day on July 29 inches closer, political parties have begun revealing their election budgets. While most parties claim the bulk of their funding came from donations, a leader from election watchdog Nicfec said greater transparency was required.

The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) revealed that it spent $300,000 during the campaign, while the League for Democracy Party (LDP) claims it spent $3 million.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) declined to give an exact figure but said funding came from its members’ donations. Funcinpec leaders also declined to reveal its election spending.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said on Tuesday that none of his party’s funds came from government coffers, but from the 200 riel ($0.05) fee that his party’s 5.5 million members paid monthly.

“Officials at any level, as long as they are party members, must pay 200 riel per month. If not, they cannot continue their political lives with the party. It’s normal, 200 riel from each member. We have 5.5 million members, so you do the maths and you will ascertain our budget,” he said.

Eysan declined to disclose the party’s budget for this year as the campaign period wasn’t over yet.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian People’s Party activists participating in its rally on July 10 in the capital. Heng Chivoan

GDP secretary-general Sam Inn estimated that his party spent around $300,000 while campaigning and that all its funding came from “contributions and donations” from members.

“Election campaign expenses in the capital and some provinces amount to between $5,000 and $30,000. It came from party contributions and was spent on printing pamphlets, shirts, hats, car rentals, gasoline, water and food,” he said.

LDP president Khem Veasna said this week that his party’s roughly $3 million budget was from donations and that its Phnom Penh rally cost $1.5 million while events in Siem Reap cost a total of $40,000.

“The money did not come from our headquarters but party supporters’ contributions,” he said.

Funcinpec lawmaker and spokesperson Nheb Bun Chhin said he could not reveal the total amount spent on the election campaign as yet, but that each province spent between $70,000 and $150,000, depending on what they could raise.

“We have a budget plan for spending, but no actual money to spend, so we need to raise money together. Some provinces needed $150,000, while others needed only $100,000. Compared with other parties, we spend less than what they do for a single commune.”

Election watchdog Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Nicfec) director Sam Kuntheamy said some parties spent three or four million, while others claimed they spent $200,000 to $300,000.

“We just want to know if their expenses are balanced or not,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • Farmers told not to plant next rice crop

    THE Ministry of Environment has told Cambodian rice farmers to refrain from planting crops in the midst of a drought heightened by record temperatures due to this year’s El Nino phenomenon. Temperatures are expected to peak in April and May. “Every year, [farmers usually]

  • Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

    Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday that Preah Sihanouk province will become a second Singapore, as authorities were warned that its development, fuelled largely by Chinese investment, was coming at a cost to locals. Siphan was speaking at a press conference after a seminar