Wed | Jul 15, 2020

Vaz, Crawford cleared on by-election spending

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/Senior Gleaner Writer
Ann-Marie Vaz

Director of Elections Glasspole Brown has given the green light to the two candidates of the April 4 East Portland by-election, telling The Gleaner yesterday that Member of Parliament Ann-Marie Vaz and the defeated Damion Crawford met the May 16 deadline to declare campaign spending.

Under the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2016, contributors, candidates and registered political parties are required to file declarations and reports with the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) within a prescribed time frame.

The two candidates, as well as their agents, who contested the by-election had until May 16 to file a declaration of their election expenditures and a declaration that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, no contribution from any impermissible contributor has been accepted during the campaign reporting period.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica boss said both Vaz and Crawford were in good standing, but a report would not be produced until the political parties have also filed their declarations.

“We will not send a report to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) [as yet]. The political parties have until October to make their declarations to the registrar of political parties, after which a report will be sent also to the ECJ. A link will be provided to the candidates’ expenditure and also the party’s expenditure,” Brown explained.

The reporting period began on the first day of a campaign period and ends 180 days after the end of the campaign period, which is from March 4 to September 30 for the by-election in East Portland.

Candidates and contributors must declare all contributions of $250,000 or more. Under the law, candidates may accept a maximum of $1.5 million from any one donor and are only allowed to spend $15 million on election campaigning.