ELECTIONS campaign funding – parties’ coffers

Butkevičius and G. Landsbergis

The largest warchest for the current election has been gathered by the Lithuanian Social Democrat Party (LSDP) with a large portion being funds endowed from the state budget. The Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LVŽS) gathered over €100 000 just from candidates and supporters, while some donations to the Conservatives have also been particularly notable.

The Central Electoral Commission (VRK) noted the LSDP for having the largest amount of funds of all parties, totalling over €361 000, with over €349 000 of the sum being budget allocations. Sizeable donations have been recorded from a number of party members such as Vilnius deputy Mayor Gintautas Paluckas (€5700), Minister of Finance Rasa Budbergytė (€5000) and deputy Minister of Economy Marius Skarupskas (€2000).

The LVŽS has gathered over €108 000, with more half being personal donations from party members, while the second half is from individual donations. Party Chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis and his family provided a particularly notable sum. The candidate himself donated €15 000, his father Česlovas Vytautas Karbauskis and his sister Jurga Karbauskytė – €7000 each. Sizeable private donations have also reached the party, most notable being donations from two farmers Algirdas Tamulis and Simona Sasnauskaitė, both totalling €7000 each.

The Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) have €194 000 in their war chest, with most of the funds being state allocated and only a small portion (€3500) being donations, but individual candidates have far more sizeable election budgets with fraction head Mykolas Majauskas having a €21 000 budget, with donations of up to €6000 from several contributors. Fellow party member Žygimantas Pavilionis also has a sizeable budget at €20 000, with the candidate personally contributing €2700 and also receiving a number of contributions, the largest of which reached €7500. Party Chairman Gabrielius Landsbergis transferred €5000 to his electoral account.

The Labour Party account contains €258 000, the majority of which is budget allocations. The Order and Justice Party budget totals €148 000, with €21 000 being candidate donations. The two Liberal leaning parties, the Liberal Movement and Lithuanian Freedom Union have €164 000 and €66 000 respectively. The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania received €150 000 from the state for its campaign which amounts to its total campaign budget.

Legislation allows parties and candidates to be funded by donations from party and candidate coffers, as well as individual persons. Donations and financing through third parties are not permitted. One individual donator can provide up to €7570, but the total donation cannot exceed 10% of their annual income. A candidate can finance their campaigning as well, but not exceeding €15 140.

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