Political finance

General

How are political parties and politicians funded in your jurisdiction?

According to the Law on Political Parties, political parties are non-profit organisations. The provision of material and financial support to political parties shall be carried out in the form of contributions to support the parties and state financing of statutory activities of political parties.

The following can be considered as contributions in support of the party: money or property; benefits; privileges; services; loans; intangible assets and benefits, including party membership fees, sponsorship of activities or activities in support of a party; goods; work; and services provided or received free or on preferential terms, which are received by or given to political parties, their registered local organisations, to an associated person of a party or its local organisation, or to a candidate nominated by a party or its local election organisation (by transferring or remitting it to an election fund during the relevant election).

A political party has the right to receive state financing for its campaign activity if, during the parliamentary election, its list of candidates in the national multi-mandate constituency received at least 2 per cent of the votes.

The state budget may fund:

  • parties’ statutory activities, not related to their participation in elections, including the payment of employees of the statutory bodies of the political party and its local organisations; and
  • reimbursement of expenses of political parties related to financing of their election campaign during the regular and extraordinary elections of MPs.

In reality, the majority of parties cover their expenses using alternative means to those provided by the law, which are subject to investigation by the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC).

Registration of interests

Must parties and politicians register or otherwise declare their interests? What interests, other than travel, hospitality and gifts, must be declared?

The Law on Prevention of Corruption defines the terms ‘private interest’, ‘real conflict of interests’ and ‘potential conflict of interests’. The Law extends, in particular, to persons authorised to perform functions of the state or local self-government and candidates for deputies.

Persons subject to the Law have the following obligations:

  • take measures to prevent the emergence of a potential conflict of interest;
  • notify his or her immediate supervisor, the NAPC or the relevant authorities if he or she has learned or should have known of the existence of a real or potential conflict of interest;
  • not to take action and not to make decisions when a real conflict of interest arises; and
  • take measures to resolve a real or potential conflict of interest.

Persons authorised to perform state or local government functions may not, directly or indirectly or in any way, encourage their subordinates to undertake decisions, acts or omissions in contravention of the Law in favour of their private interests or the private interests of third parties.

Contributions to political parties and officials

Are political contributions or other disbursements to parties and political officials limited or regulated? How?

According to the Law, the following persons and entities are prohibited from making contributions in support of political parties:

  • state authorities and local self-government bodies;
  • state and communal enterprises, institutions and organisations, as well as legal entities, in which not less than 10 per cent of the authorised capital or voting rights belong to the state;
  • foreign states and legal entities, foreigners and stateless persons, as well as legal entities, whose final beneficiaries are foreigners or stateless persons;
  • unregistered public, charitable and religious associations;
  • anonymous persons or those under a pseudonym; and
  • other political parties.

The total amount of the contributions in support of a political party from a citizen of Ukraine, within one year, may not exceed 400 minimum wages (US$55,100 as of 2018) established on 1 January of the year in which contributions were made. For legal entities, this is 800 minimum wages (US$110,300 as of 2018) during one year.

Sources of funding for political campaigns

Describe how political campaigns for legislative positions and executive offices are financed.

Financing of election campaigns for candidates for elective positions shall be carried out only through election funds, which shall be created within 10 days after the nomination of a candidate in a single-mandate constituency or of the list of party candidates in the nationwide constituency.

The size of the party’s election fund cannot exceed 90,000 minimum wages (US$12.4 million as of 2018), and the size of the electoral fund of an MP candidate in a single-mandate constituency is 4,000 minimum wages (US$551,000 as of 2018).

The party’s election fund is formed at the expense of the party’s own funds, as well as voluntary contributions from persons who are entitled to do so in accordance with the Law on Political Parties. The electoral fund of an MP candidate in a single-member constituency is formed at the expense of the candidate’s own funds and voluntary contributions of persons who are entitled to do so in accordance with the Law on Political Parties.

To form the election fund, accumulate money and use it for election campaigning, the party should open two types of bank account: an accumulation account and a current account. Thus, the opportunity is provided to accumulate funds for the organisation of an election campaign in one account, and to finance the costs of the campaign in another.

The voluntary contributions of a person to the election fund of a party, an MP candidate in a single-member constituency, nominated by the party or by way of self-nomination, is limited by the size of the maximum contribution in support of the party during the year established by the Law on Political Parties.

The political party that was the subject of the election process or receives public funding is required to undergo an external independent financial audit. The parties submit a property, income, expense and financial report to the NAPC on a quarterly basis and make it public on their official websites.

During the election, parties and individual candidates must submit interim and final reports to the Central Election Commission and the NAPC on the receipt and use of the funds for the election.

Lobbyist participation in fundraising and electioneering

Describe whether registration as a lobbyist triggers any special restrictions or disclosure requirements with respect to candidate fundraising.

Not applicable.

Independent expenditure and coordination

How is parallel political campaigning independent of a candidate or party regulated?

There is no law that prohibits public associations or individuals that are not related to candidates or political parties from conducting political campaigns for or against a candidate.

However, the financing of election campaign activities or materials from sources not provided for by the law, regardless of whether there is an agreement with the parties taking part in the election process or with MP candidates, is prohibited.

Agitation through social media is not regulated by law.