Open Data Albania is providing for the first time ever a summary accounting balance sheet of the Funds from the 2011 Electoral Campaign. The auditing of finances of political parties and other electoral subjects is a new process, dating back to the 2008 amendments to the Electoral Code. Official data taken from the reports of certified accountants are used in order to assess the types of electoral financing. Such reports concern 149 electoral subjects, being both political parties and individual candidates.

In 2011, 55 political parties 94 independent candidates have registered with the Central Election Commission as electoral subjects. There are only six parliamentary parties out of the total number of registered ones. The electoral subjects, whether political parties or independent candidates, have officially reported a total of 337,856,558 (three hundred thirty-seven million eight hundred fifty-six thousand five hundred fifty-eight) Leks. This amount represents the collected funds for supporting the electoral campaign?s costs and expenses.

These funds have been secured through: public funding (through the state budget); donations (private contributions); electoral subjects? own funds; and other ways sanctioned by the Electoral Code.

Political Subjects funds by type – 2011 Electoral Campaign

Source: Audit Reports Accounting, political parties, campaign 2011
Processing and Analysis: ODA

Public funds. A considerable part of the political parties? funds is made of the money allocated to them from the state budget. These public funds are allocated to political parties to cover for the campaign?s expenses. Simply said, this is money offered by taxpayers as a contribution for normal and civilized electoral campaigns. The campaign was supposed to offer most favorable opportunities for the presentation of governing and political programs and models to the Albanian voters. The funds? allocation rules are set forth in Article 87 of the Electoral Code. In line with the subjects? reporting, they have benefited from the state budget a total of 72,679,609 (seventy-two million six hundred seventy-nine thousand six hundred nine) Leks. The above sum comprises 21.51% of the total campaign funds.

Electoral donations (private contributions). Donations are an interesting phenomenon of the electoral campaigns. In general, electoral subjects are not seen conducting fund raising events and campaigns that are public and transparent. Although, not as transparent and visible for the public, the private contributions to the electoral campaign are a source of considerable revenues for political parties and candidates. So, the political parties? revenues from non-public (private) funds in the 2011 electoral campaign are equal to 69,808,415 (sixty-nine million eight hundred eight thousand four hundred fifteen) Leks, and make up 20.66% of the total campaign funds.

Source: Audit Reports Accounting, political parties, campaign 2011
Processing and Analysis: ODA

According to the official accounting reports, in the 2011 electoral campaign, the electoral subjects have acquired nearly equal funds from the state budget and private donors. The conditions and terms for non-public donations are specified by lawmakers in Article 89 of the Electoral Code. In addition, Articles 90 and 91 specify the political parties? obligation for a transparent process both in raising private funds and in keeping the donors? register. Electoral subjects? private donors must not be entities that have received public funds from or have monetary obligations towards the state budget.

Other funds. The subjects? other funds may be considered as mixed public and non-public funds. They are called such, for they are the parties? own funds collected through party statute provisions rather than through legal ones. Such as these are the party base?s contributions or membership fees. In addition, the state funds allocated annually for the financing of political parties may be considered as political parties? own funds, or even the revenues from the bank interest rates out of the bank deposits accumulated over the years. HRUP is a typical case in this regard. This category makes up 54.57% of the political parties? total funds for the 2011 electoral campaign, and its total worth amounts to 184 359 794 (one hundred eighty-four million three hundred fifty-nine thousand seven hundred ninety-four) Leks.

Another category of funds, which is seen in one electoral subject only, consists in the tariffs for free airtime benefited as political advertising. This is provided for by Article 84, point 6 of the Electoral Code, and is a specific case in which the cost for making the free airtime available to the electoral subjects by private radio/televisions is calculated as a deductible expense for taxation purposes. In the 2011 elections, the revenues on the basis of this legal provision amount to 3.26 % of the total campaign funds.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania
Contributed by: R.E