BISHKEK, March 10, 2021 - The process of forming election funds of candidates for the office of President of Kyrgyzstan should be open and public, and the spending should be transparent, which will increase voters' confidence in the elections. Such recommendations are contained in the Common Cause PF's report on the results of nonpartisan observation of the early presidential election held on January 10, which was presented during the round table on March 10.
"Having analyzed the process of forming and spending of candidates' election funds during the early election, the PF experts came to the conclusion that today Kyrgyzstan needs more transparency in matters of election financing, which can be done by making appropriate changes in the legislation," - said the PF's Chairperson of the Board Aida Suyundueva.
In particular, the Common Cause PF proposes to extend the legislatively established principle of transparency and openness in the preparation and conduct of elections not only to election commissions, but also to election funds of candidates, in respect of which this principle partially applies on the basis of the law "On Bank Secrecy".
In this regard, the legislation should clearly establish that bank secrecy does not apply to special election accounts and deposits. Funds spent on the preparation and conduct of elections cannot be a subject of state, commercial, or other legally protected secrets.
The PF is convinced that this will facilitate the unimpeded access to accurate and timely information on the movement of funds in special accounts, and the information should be available not only to the CEC, but also to all candidates and voters, which in general will help to increase the level of confidence in the elections.
According to open data, the total expenditures of candidates in the January 10 elections amounted to more than 96 million soms, however, in some cases, the payments for services were not reflected in the financial statements and did not pass through special bank accounts. In this regard, the Common Cause PF proposes to improve accounting and reporting procedures for election funds, and, if possible, to instruct banks to monitor the compliance of a contribution, donation and the purpose of payments from election funds (currently it is simply "payment by check") in order to increase the transparency of reports. This allows to avoid doubts about their purpose.
Analysis of the financing of candidates' election campaigns showed that the lack of a universal declaration of incomes and expenditures of the population creates a number of obstacles in the monitoring of candidates' finances.
The existing system does not allow to trace the sources of funds of persons who contribute to the election funds of candidates.
To solve these problems, in addition to the introduction of a universal declaration and disclosure of the sources of origin of contributors' money, the Common Cause PF also proposes to establish detailed reporting forms on income and expenditures for candidates and publish them in a machine-readable format on the CEC website with the ability to download them in Word/Excel formats.