Political party finances

Updated June 2010

Links on this page go to pages providing further detail on the subject for the country concerned.

Country Public and private regime
ANGOLA Public funding of political parties represented in National Assembly dispensed by the National Electoral Commission
Campaign financing is regulated by Law 7/2004, 17 June (Electoral Law). Section 94, 1, prohibits funding from foreigner and foreign governments and corporations and state organs and corporations
No other restrictions
BOTSWANA No public funding of political parties
Candidate's personal campaign expenses restricted by Electoral Act but not the amount the political parties may spend (Sections 80-89)
No other restrictions
DRC No public funding of political parties; it is is enabled but not mandated by law
Party funding and finances regulated by Law 04/002 2004: Funding from foreign states is outlawed (Section 24). Parties must disclose property ownership to the Minister of Home Affairs, as well as any donations or bequests (Section 23). Parties must submit annual financial accounts to the Minister of Home Affairs (Section 21)
LESOTHO Public funding provided for campaign expenses. Half the funds are allocated by the Independent Electoral Commission to registered parties and shared equally amongst them, while the other half is distributed to each party in proportion to the number of candidates fielded
Private funding is regulated by National Assembly Election Order 1992: Funds over M20 000 must be disclosed to the IEC; funds must be paid into a declared campaign transaction bank account (47N).
MADAGASCAR Public funds are allocated to parties according to the number votes they received in previous election.
Private funding is unregulated and no disclosure or accounting is required; no limits are placed on the amounts candidates or parties may receive or spend; funding by foreign state and public bodies is prohibited
MALAWI Public funding of political parties that receive more than 10% of the vote (Constitution 1994, 40.2)
Private funding is wholly unregulated
MAURITIUS No public funding of political parties
No limits on party income fundraising
Party expenditure on candidates restricted by Representation of the People Act (1958, 49-57). In 2005 a party was not permitted to spend more than Rs150 000 on each candidate, while independents were permitted to spend up to Rs250 000
MOZAMBIQUE Public funding allocated by National Electoral Commission: One-third of to presidential candidates, one-third to political parties in parliament in proportion to the seats held and one-third to parties fielding candidates for parliament in proportion the number of candidates fielded
Private funding from foreign governments and institutions, companies owned by foreign governments, state structures or state owned companies is prohibited (Law 20/2002, 35.3., 40). Parties, candidates and coalitions that participated must give account of incomes and expenses to the CNE (Law 20/2002, 37, 38)
NAMIBIA Public funds allocated the parties in the National Assembly in proportion to the votes in previous election
Private funds recieved must be disclosed
No other regulation of party funding
SEYCHELLES Public funds are allocated by the Registrar of Political Parties proportionate to the number of votes obtained by a party in previous election. Parties that did not participate in election are also entitled to some funding also (Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act 1991, 29(2))
Private funding is not regulated
Campaign funds accounting for income and expenditure by candidates regulated by Elections Act, 93-94
SOUTH AFRICA Public funding is dispensed by the chief electoral officer to parties currently represented in national and provincial legislatures (Represented Political Parties Act (1997, 5). Allocated according a formula that takes into account the proportion of members a party has in the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures and a minimum threshold amount to ensure equity (Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act 1997, 5(2)(a))
Private funding not regulated
SWAZILAND There is no public funding for political parties or other regulation of party finance. Political parties were banned in 1973, but unbanned by a High Court order on the basis a clause in the new Constitution guaranteeing freedom of association
TANZANIA Public funding of political parties abolished in 2000
Private donations must be disclosed to the Registrar of Political Parties and Funds received from abroad must be disclosed
A Minister is empowered to set limits on election expenditure
ZAMBIA No public funding of political parties.
Private fundraising unregulated
Political parties may be required by the Registrar of Societies to submit the financial accounts of the party for inspection at any time
ZANZIBAR Autonomous territory within the United Republic of Tanzania. Party formation, registration and regulation are Union matters and regulated by Tanzania national law (see above).
ZIMBABWE Public funding for political parties with a minimum of 15 seats in Parliament is dispensed by the Minister administering the Act (Political Parties (Finance) Act). In 1998, by order of Supreme Court, formula was altered to provide funding in proportion to share of popular vote from a threshold of 5% of votes cast in the election
Private funding: Political parties and candidates prohibited from receiving funds from foreign donors (Political Parties (Finance) Act 2001, 6(1))
Campaign finances of candidates regulated by Electoral Act (2004, 93-101)