Wednesday, March 14, 2012

French Campaign Finance Laws

A researcher from ABC News called me yesterday to ask whether a contribution to Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign by Muammar Qaddafi (if made as alleged by Mediapart) would be illegal under French campaign finance laws. I didn't know the answer at the time, but I have since discovered a good (US!!) source on French campaign finance laws, which gives an ambiguous answer:
Foreign states or foreign legal entities cannot make direct or indirect donations to a political candidate.[26] No restriction is mentioned regarding foreign physical persons, and there is no provision regarding the requirement to raise all or the majority of funds within a candidate’s home constituency. Political parties also are prohibited from receiving contributions from foreign states or foreign legal entities.[27]
So, if you're reading, ABC researcher, check out this source.

1 comment:

FrédéricLN said...

What would be illegal (if made as alleged by Mediapart) is the amount. Contributions for a political campaign are limited, the ceiling is at 4,600€. The 50 millions Mediapart speaks of are somewhat over this limit.

BTW, I'm quite surprised by the accusation — namely by the amount. What could a campaign do of so much money? Commercial ads are banned in France (on TV as well as on walls, newspapers or radios), and printing flyers does not cost 1€ per citizen.