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Ecuador

In law
73
In practice
40

Ecuador provides parties with direct public funding; however, they may not use those funds for campaign purposes. Access to advertising, on the other hand, is available, though it was not distributed transparently and equitably during the 2014 campaign. Non-financial resources were regularly abused during that campaign as well. Restrictions on contributions from individuals and corporations exist in the law, but no ban limits cash contributions. Expenditures during campaigns, however, are capped. Numerous violations of these restrictions occurred during the most recent elections. Where reporting is concerned, parties are required to submit reports both inside and outside campaigns. In practice, submitted reports include complete lists of all contributors, but none of that information is available to the public in a timely fashion. Third party actors are prohibited from any political activity, and the evidence suggests that Ecuador is one of the few countries in the MPT sample in which such organizations have not had any campaign presence. The National Electoral Council (NEC) is responsible for oversight of political finance, but its appointees, in practice, are neither fully merit-based nor independent. A lack of budget and staff complicates its ability to carry out its remit, and the public cannot easily access information on the NEC's investigations. The body does impose sanctions, but offenders do not always comply. According to the MPT research, a lack of transparency on political finance information in general and the NEC's work in particular inhibits the efficacy of Ecuador's regulatory regime.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        NO
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Direct public funding is regularly provided to political parties and national political movements through the Permanent Party Fund but such direct public funding is restricted from use in electoral campaigns and individual candidates do not qualify themselves as beneficiaries. The restriction established on the use of these funds applies to electoral campaigns for presidential elections as well as for legislative elections, which by law must be celebrated on the same date.

        According to Ecuadorian law, the two main political actors that can participate in elections are political parties and political movements. Political parties are, by legal definition, national-level organizations, while political movements can be created at any level of government (Arts. 310 and 311, Code of Democracy - COD). As established by the National Constitution (Art. 110), “political parties and movements shall be funded by membership dues paid by their members and followers, and as long as they meet the requirements stipulated by law, the political parties shall receive State allocations subject to monitoring. The political movement that, on two successive multi-person elections, obtains at least five percent (5%) of all valid votes nationwide, shall acquire the same rights and must meet the same obligations as political parties”. Individual candidates are not included as potential beneficiaries of public funding.

        The COD establishes that that the National Electoral Council will provide public contributions to parties and movements through the Permanent Party Fund. These funds will be used by the organizations exclusively for: educational activities, publications, training and research, and for their regular institutional functioning (Art. 355). Therefore, although a law exists that allocates direct public funding regularly, such direct public funding is restricted from use in electoral campaigns.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - Political organizations (defined as parties and movements) are restricted by law from using state funding in electoral campaings. They do have access to an Electoral Promotion Fund which is the sole source of financing permitted for electoral promotion during the campaign (COD, Article 202). The spirit behind these measures is to allow equitable access to the media for all candidates, and is thoroughly described below in indicators 7 and 8.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, Arts. 110. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 202, 310, 311, 355. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        NO
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Direct public funding is provided annually to political parties and national political movements through the Permanent Party Fund and, as the law states, will be used by the organizations exclusively for: educational activities, publications, training and research, and for their regular institutional functioning (Art. 355, Code of Democracy - COD). Therefore, although a law exists that allocates direct public funding regularly, such direct public funding is restricted from use in electoral campaigns. This restriction applies to electoral campaigns for presidential elections as well as for legislative elections, which by law must be celebrated on the same date. Individual candidates do not qualify themselves as beneficiaries.

        Regarding the eligibility criteria for this non-electoral public funding, they are objective and clearly defined in the COD and are related to performance in the last election celebrated. Political organizations must meet any of the following requirements: four percent of the valid vote in two consecutive multi-member elections at the national level; or al least three elected members of the National Assembly; or eight percent of the mayoral offices; or at least one counselor in at least ten percent of the counties in the country (Art. 355, COD). While they are registered and function as such, alliances are eligible to receive these funds and, when one or more members separately meet these requirements, the alliance will be granted an additional amount of twenty percent of the funds that each one of the organizations is entitled to receive (Art. 355). Article 356 of the COD states that the National Electoral Council will allocate the corresponding resources only to political organizations that have duly presented their financial reports for the former fiscal year and have no pending financial obligations with the Government.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organization – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 355 and 356. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        Not applicable. Direct public funding is provided annually to political parties and national political movements through the Permanent Party Fund but the law stipulates that it will be used by the organizations exclusively for: educational activities, publications, training and research, and for their regular institutional functioning. Therefore, although a law exists that allocates direct public funding regularly, such direct public funding is restricted from use in electoral campaigns.

        With regards to non-electoral direct public funding, it is always determined through a clearly defined, transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently. The National Electoral Council determines every year the total amount and the distribution of the Permanent Party Fund. The institution issues a resolution adopted in plenary session that includes the total amount and the allocation among organizations. The resolution displays a chart that includes parties that are granted public funds, the electoral coefficient for each one, and the amount of money each organizations receives. The funds are allocated following two principles: fifty percent of the total amount is distributed equally among all eligible organizations, and thirty five percent of the total amount is distributed proportionally, according to performance in the last election (Electoral Council Resolutions, November 2012 and September 2013). The remaining fifteen percent of the fund is granted to the Institute for Democracy, a research and training institution funded and managed by the National Electoral Council.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. While the criteria to allocate funds to legally recognized political organizations is transparent, there has been controversy as to how the NEC determines which political organizations can retain their legal right to exist. Article 327 of the Code for Democracy establishes the criteria that political organizations must meet in order to retain their legal existence. After the 2014 local elections, the NEC updated the politial organizations registry. The NEC's interpretation of article 327, which allegedly contains some legal vacuums, resulted in the extinction of four political organizations. The NEC's decision was upheld by the electoral court after the affected political organizations appealed the NEC's ruling. The number of political organizations eligible to receive the Permanent Party Fund affects the total amount of funds to be distributed. Hence, if the number of legally recognized political organizations decreases, the remaining organizations, including the ruling Alianza PAIS, receive more funds. This has prompted opposition leaders, such as assembly member Lourdes Tiban, to argue that the CNE ruling favored the government.

        Ecuador: Desaparecer al MPD y quitar fondo partidario a Pachakutik, es una medida antidemocratica contra las izquierdas Lourdes Tiban, opposition assembly member September 17th, 2014 http://elecuatoriano.net/2014/09/17/ecuador-desaparecer-al-mpd-y-quitar-fondo-partidario-a-pachakutik-es-una-medida-antidemocratica-contra-las-izquierdas/

        Technical Report 043-DNOP-CNE 2014, National Electoral Council's Political Organizations Office (July 1st, 2014) http://www.eluniverso.com/sites/default/files/archivos/2014/07/informetecnicodel_cne.pdf

        Ruptura de los 25 movement website July 3, 2014 http://rupturaecuador.blogspot.com

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Reports: National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-2-14-11-2012 (November 14th, 2012) Published online on November 21st, 2012 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-14-NOVIEMBRE-2012.pdf

        National Electoral Council Resolution - PLE-CNE-1-17-9-2013 (September 17th, 2013) Published online on October 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-17-SEPTIEMBRE-2013.pdf

        News: More than 7 million dollars will be allocated among parties (Más de $ 7 millones se repartirán a partidos) No specific author mentioned El Universo September 19th, 2013 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2013/09/19/nota/1462281/mas-7-millones-se-repartiran-partidos

        PRIAN will not get funds because of its pending law suits (Prian no obtendrá fondos por sus litigios pendientes) No specific author mentioned El Universo September 20th, 2013 http://m.eluniverso.com/noticias/2013/09/20/nota/1466211/prian-no-obtendra-fondos-sus-litigios-pendientes

        Interview: Víctor Hugo Ajila - Legal Advisor - Electoral Dispute Settlement Court - July 17th, 2014

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        50
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        Not applicable. Though there is public funding in Ecuador, it cannot be used for political campaigning.

        The National Electoral Council determines every year the total amount and the distribution of the Permanent Party Fund. The institution issues a resolution adopted in plenary session that includes a chart which displays parties that are granted public funds, the electoral coefficient for each one, and the amount of money each organizations receives through the equality (50% of the funds) and proportionality (35% of the funds) criteria.

        Considering that the last national election was held in February 2013, the last two resolutions (November 2012 and September 2013) have been reviewed, since the former affected the resources available to parties during the election year (even if those resources are restricted from use in campaign), and the latter was affected by the 2013 results. The 2012 resolution was adopted on November 14th and was published online through the Secretariat of the National Electoral Council on November 21st, in its open database. Regarding the latest resolution on the Permanent Party Fund, it was approved on September 2013 and published on October 1st.

        It must be said that the wording of the resolutions just indicates that the National Electoral Council orders its financial units to grant the corresponding contributions to the political organizations but does not specify when exactly the disbursement will be made. According to the "Rules for the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund among political organizations", the Fund will be allocated during the first semester (Art. 6). Regarding the 2014 Permanent Fund, the National Electoral Council has not issued a decision yet, since there are still open proceedings involving four organizations that lost their condition as officially recognized parties or movements in the national registry. On July 16th and 17th 2014 the National Electoral Council held hearings during which the organizations could present their appeals and the institution has until August 8th to examine the evidence presented.

        José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, explained that the National Electoral Council usually publishes the information in two ways: within a few days of the plenary session, a press release is posted on their website announcing that the institution has already approved the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund, and the detailed information is published in pdf format in the resolutions database. It is available for free and it can easily be located (they are published chronologically) and downloaded. It must be added that all the main newspaper publish articles covering the approval of the Permanent Fund each year.

        An Ecuadorian journalist and international correspondent confirmed that the information on the total amount of the Fund and the resources that each organization is entitled to receive are included in almost all press articles, and that the announcement by the National Electoral Council is made within few days of their decision. The correspondent also pointed that the information of the actual date of disbursement is not equally disseminated (difundido) but political organizations do not present complaints on the Electoral Council not complying with its obligation in term of disbursement.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - On August 25, the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court upheld the NEC's ruling, effectively eliminating four political organizations from the registry. On September 10, the NEC allocated the funds excluding those four organizations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        Reports: Resolution by Plenary Session of the National Electoral Council: PLE-CNE-2-14-11-2012 (November 14th, 2012) Published online on November 21st, 2012 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-14-NOVIEMBRE-2012.pdf Resolution by Plenary Session of the National Electoral Council (September 17th, 2013) Published online on October 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-17-SEPTIEMBRE-2013.pdf

        News: CNE has 30 days to consider appeals from 4 political organizations (30 días tiene CNE para analizar impugnaciones de las 4 organizaciones políticas) No specific author mentioned El Telégrafo July 7th, 2014 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/politica/item/30-dias-tiene-cne-para-analizar-impugnaciones-de-las-4-organizaciones-politicas.html

        Diego Paredes: CNE's decision had constitutional and legal basis (Diego Paredes: CNE tuvo bases constitucionales y legales para la decisión) No specific author mentioned Ecuador Inmediato July 12th, 2014 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=wapnewsview&id=2818766027

        Interviews: José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 17th, 2014

        Anonymous Ecuadorian journalist and international correspondent Correspondent for media in Great Britain and Spain, Member of the Forum of Journalists (FOPE) July 15th, 2014

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

        Reviewer's sources: Electoral Dispute Settlement Court's rulings regarding the legal standing of four political organizations August 25, 2014 http://especiales.elcomercio.com/documentos/2014/08/sentenciaRuptura.pdf http://especiales.elcomercio.com/documentos/2014/08/sentenciaPRIAN.pdf http://especiales.elcomercio.com/documentos/2014/08/sentenciaPRE.pdf http://especiales.elcomercio.com/documentos/2014/08/sentenciaMPD.pdf

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        The Ecuadorian laws include various norms that ban the use of electoral resources and government propaganda during electoral campaigns related to any electoral process, with no differences established between presidential and legislative elections.

        The Constitution and the Code of Democracy (COD) both contain explicit bans regarding the use of state resources, including official propaganda, during electoral campaigns (which can not exceed a period of forty-five days). The prohibition, although it is not specifically mentioned, is as comprehensive as to cover content in favor or against parties and candidates. According to the Constitution: “The use of State resources and infrastructure, as well as government publicity, at all levels of government for the electoral campaign, is forbidden. The law shall set sanctions for those who fail to comply with these provisions” (Art. 115).

        The Code of Democracy (COD) bans public officials and institutions from using public goods and resources to promote their names or their political organizations in institutions, public works or projects during campaign (Art. 219). In addition, it forbids the display of the image, voice, and names of individuals that are registered as candidate, when such display is funded with public resources (Art. 207). Public officials that are running for public office during electoral campaign are restricted from participating in events of inauguration of public works or other events funded with public funds, with the exception of those that fall within the exercise of their representation role. Furthermore, during electoral campaign, advertising in press, radio, television and billboards is forbidden for all public institutions. An exception is made for the diffusion of information needed to execute plans and programs which are in progress at that moment. A limitation on the total amount of air time and cost that public institutions can hire for this purpose during campaign period is also included (COD, Art. 207).

        Article 203 of the COD regulates the exceptions to the ban on advertising or propaganda by public institutions at all levels of government during elections. The exceptions include: information about projects and programs in progress at that moment or those that must be executed during that period; when, related to public works, institutions need to inform citizens on closing/opening of roads or alternate locations; emergency situations or natural disaster; or matters of national importance as prevention, security, public health, among others. The exceptions considered are included in the COD and apply to all public officials and institutions, regardless of their party affiliation.

        A reform to the COD was passed on 2012, in which some exceptions to the restrictions on the use of public resources were added. Due to the controversy brought by the reform (especially the exception in Art. 203 regarding information about projects and programs), the Constitutional Court issued a resolution ratifying the constitutionality of the reform and, therefore, of the exceptions included (Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 28).

        Finally, it must be said that the COD stipulates sanctions for those who violate the prohibition on the use of state resources and infrastructure, and on government propaganda in all levels of government (Art. 282).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, Arts. 115. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 203, 207, 219, 282. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 28 – Sentence 028-12-SIN-CC (Resolución de la Corte Constitucional No. 28 – Sentencia 028-12-SIN-CC) 2012. http://casos.corteconstitucional.gob.ec:8080/busqueda/pdf2.php?fc=http://doc.corteconstitucional.gob.ec:8080/alfresco/d/d/workspace/SpacesStore/9a56d766-3e4a-45db-bce3-a0f9f05a4613/sentenciapart1.pdf?guest=true

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        During the last national elections and also during the last sub-national elections, there was documented evidence of the use of public resources for particular parties and candidates during the campaign.

        The National Electoral Council issued a resolution on January 2013 through which the institution suspended a radio ad by the Presidency of the Republic that did not comply with the exceptions considered for government propaganda during electoral campaign. During this same period, a member of the Unidad Plurinacional de las Izquierdas alliance presented a claim to the National Electoral Council, reporting the use of an helicopter of the armed forces by President Rafael Correa to shoot a campaign spot. This episode was also reported by the press. The Electoral Dispute Settlement Court concluded that there was no violation because as President, Rafael Correa was using the helicopter for security reasons. However, the press reported a similar event a month after that, when Correa was already on leave to participate in the electoral campaign. In this second case, the incumbent also used the helicopter during his campaign and appeared in pictures wearing clothes with the colors of his party.

        In addition to this, the civil society organization Coroporación Participación Ciudadana published a report of their monthly media monitoring on January 2013. According to the results of the report, at least three candidates aired official propaganda (i.e. funded with public resources) where their names were included, thus violating provisions of the Code of Democracy.

        The Electoral Dispute Settlement Court issued a sentence sanctioning a public official who was carrying electoral propaganda of Alianza País party (the party in government) inside an official vehicle. They found the driver personally responsible of wrongful use of public resources and infrastructure but no sanction was imposed on the political organization.

        Controversy also arose after the executive issued a decree just two days before the campaign period rising the Human Development Bonus (Bono de Desarrollo Humano), one of the main government subsidies, from thirty-five to fifty dollars.

        José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, confirmed that after recently finishing the audit of 365 financial reports corresponding to the 2013 national electoral process, more than 180 files are ready to be referred to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and to the Office of the Comptroller General for violations regarding the use of public resources, among others. However, a public official from the Office of the Comptroller General pointed that the National Electoral Council has not officially sent any file to the General Comptroller on potential abuse of pubic resources during the 2013 campaign yet.

        Journalists also indicated that during the last electoral process held on February 2014, the National Electoral Council exhorted President Correa to refrain from participating in his Saturday TV show, Enlace Ciudadano, since it was meant to be broadcasted one day before the elections during what is considered “period of electoral silence”. The show is funded with public resources and considered as a means of accountability and information to the public. President Correa decided to participate, broadcasting from the main square in Quito, and during a considerable part of the show made strong declarations against the president of the National Electoral Council and repeatedly referred to the electoral campaign.

        In addition, in January 2014 the National Electoral Council (Minute Order No. 6 PLE-CNE) ordered the cancellation of three advertising spots produced by the government of Guayaquil, since it was considered the authorities were using the official propaganda for electoral purposes.

        As a general opinion, people consulted affirmed that although there are specific norms that ban the use of electoral resources and government propaganda during electoral campaigns, problems arise due to the consideration of some rather vaguely defined exceptions that can give place to discretionary interpretation. This was addressed by Corporación Participación Ciudadana on their comments to the Rules of Electoral Promotion. The organization sent a letter to the National Electoral Council, urging the electoral authority to establish clearer rules on this matter. The Electoral Monitoring Mission conducted by the Organization of American States in 2013 also recommended the development of clearer rules that define the scope and limits of this matter to reduce the risk of abuse of public resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-12-22-1-2013 January 22nd, 2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf

        Electoral Dispute Settlement Court – Sentence 004-13-070213 February 7th, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/ab4d21_SENTENCIA-004-13-070213.pdf

        Electoral Dispute Settlement Court – Sentence 090-2013-TCE March 1st, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/ee0c7e_SENTENCIA-090-13.pdf

        National Electoral Council - Minute Order No. 6 PLE-CNE January 24th, 2014 Published online on February 3rd, 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-24-ENERO-2014.pdf

        Executive Decree on the Human Development Bonus January 2nd, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.inclusion.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/01/decreto-mediante-el-cual-se-incrementa-el-bono.pdf

        Report on government propaganda Corporación Participación Ciudadana Published online on February 25th, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/informepublicidadenero.pdf

        Correa shoots campaign spot in Otavalo (Correa graba propaganda política en Otavalo) El Norte January 7th, 2013 http://www.elnorte.ec/politica/30600-correa-graba-propaganda-pol%C3%ADtica-en-otavalo.html

        Rafael Correa uses helicopter for a second time (Rafael Correa utiliza por segunda vez helicóptero) El Comercio February 7th, 2013 http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/politica/rafael-correa-segunda-vez-helicoptero.html

        The Office of the Comptroller General processes 22 electoral complaints (Contraloría da trámite a 22 denuncias electorales) February 3rd, 2013 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/noticias/informacion-general/item/contraloria-da-tramite-a-22-denuncias-electorales.html

        NEC exhorts President Correa to refrain from broadcasting Enlace Ciudadano next Saturday (CNE exhorta a Presidente Correa a abstenerse de realizar Enlace Ciudadanao el próximo sábado) Ecuador Inmediato February 17th, 2014 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=2818756927&umt=cneexhortaapresidentecorreaaabstenerserealizarenlaceciudadanoproximo_sabado

        Enlace Ciudadano No. 362 Mins. 11 to 23. February 22nd, 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5lBqCzbWeY

        Comments on the Rules of Electoral Promotion Corporación Participación Ciudadana December 2nd, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/oficiocne.pdf

        Report of the OAS Electoral Monitoring Mission – Ecuador 2013 Organization of American States February 18th, 2013 http://www.oas.org/es/sap/deco/moe/Ecuador2013/prensa/CP_Feb18.pdf

        Interviews José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Yolanda Velasco Director of Responsibilities Office of the General Comptroller August 6th, 2014

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        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The Ecuadorian law has extensive regulation regarding air time and billboard advertising for electoral campaigns. This kind of indirect public financial support is indeed more exhaustively regulated than direct public funding. Once the period for registering candidates is over, all accepted candidates (through their political organizations) are eligible for the Electoral Promotion Fund.

        The National Electoral Council calculates the total amount of money that will be destined as indirect funding considering which elected offices will be subject to elections. Once the total amount for each type of public office is obtained, resources will be granted to all the organizations in equal amounts for each list they present to each public office. The main pieces of legislation that address this matter are the Constitution, the Code of Democracy (COD) and the Rules of Electoral Promotion. Furthermore, the National Electoral Council's website has a specific section called Electoral Promotion (Promoción Electoral), where several documents are available for download.

        Firstly, the Constitution establishes that: “The State, through the media, shall guarantee, in an equitable and egalitarian fashion, promotion of the election fostering debate and dissemination of the program platforms of all the candidates. Political subjects cannot hire advertising in the media and on billboards. The use of State resources and infrastructure, as well as government publicity, at all levels of government for the electoral campaign, is forbidden” (Art. 115). Similarly, the COD specifies that the public funding will be exclusively destined to campaign in press, radio, television, and billboards, and that the National Electoral Council will determine the allocation of resources according to the reality of each region (Art. 202). In its Art. 358 the law mentions that this funding will be provided by the National Electoral Council to electoral campaigns by political organizations that register single-member and multi-member candidacies; it adds that alliances between two or more organizations will accumulate the funds corresponding to all the members. The Electoral Promotion Fund is the exclusive means of public funding available to political actors to hire advertising during electoral campaigns (Rules of Electoral Promotion, Art. 5).

        Art. 203 bans subjects of private law (sujetos de derecho privado) from hiring or disseminating advertising or propaganda related to the electoral process in press, radio, television, billboards, and any other social communication media during electoral campaign. Additionally, Art. 205 forbids any advertising with electoral purpose, once the elections are announced, except those authorized by the National Electoral Council. An explicit mention of the violation of these norms is included in Art. 275.

        The definition of eligible criteria and mechanism of allocation of resources is contained in the Rules of Electoral Promotion, approved in plenary session by the National Electoral Council. For the 2013 national elections, former Rules of Electoral Promotion approved in 2012 were in force, and although the most recent ruling has further specified some mechanisms and requirements, the core of the regulations remains almost the same.

        According to Art. 7, once the registering process for each election is over and all the candidates are counted, the National Electoral Council, after a technical report issued by its Office of Electoral Promotion, will approve the total amount of funds to be allocated for each election. This means that all the candidacies (candidaturas) that have been successfully registered through their political organizations are eligible for this benefit. The calculation to determine the total amount of the Electoral Promotion Fund in the case of general elections (President and Vice-president, and members of the National Assembly), and the allocation of resources will be as follows: the total amount for each registered list will be equal to 40% of the total expenditure authorized for that elected office, with the exception of members of the National Assembly representing the Ecuadorians abroad, for whom the total amount will be equal to 100% (Art. 8). Once the total amount for each type of public office is obtained, resources will be granted equally to all the organizations that present candidates for each public office.

        As a mechanism of indirect public funding, this procedures will not involve any money exchange between the National Electoral Council and political organizations (Art. 10, Rules of Electoral Promotion). The political actors can hire air time and billboards according to the funds available to them and the limits established in the law, but the National Electoral Council will pay the services. For each electoral Process the National Electoral Council will determine an Electoral Promotion System through which the financial manager of each political organization will manage the funds (Art. 11). The National Electoral Council will provide a key to each financial manager so that they can access the system and order advertising services with authorized suppliers. Arts. 22 to 28 regulate the procedures of hiring and the payment mechanisms. The Rules of Electoral Promotion also includes the requirements for all the companies and media outcasts that want to qualify to offer their services (Arts. 15 and 16).

        The total amount of the Electoral Promotion Fund approved for elections by resolution of the National Electoral Council is published online on its website (Resolutions PLE-CNE-9-13-12-2012 and PLE-CNE-4-27-12-2013).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, Arts. 115. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 202, 203, 205, 275, 358. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules of Electoral Promotion (Reglamento de Promoción Electoral) Arts. 5, 7, 8, 10, 11. 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/Reglamento_Promocion2013.pdf

        Rules of Electoral Promotion (Reglamento de Promoción Electoral) 2012 http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/resoluciones359/2494-r-13-agosto-2012

        Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-9-13-12-2012 (December 13th, 2012) Published online on December 27th, 2012 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-13-DICIEMBRE-2012-REINST-17-12-2012.pdf

        Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-4-27-12-2013 (December 27th, 3013) Published online on January 20th, 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-27-DICIEMBRE-2013.pdf

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        8
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        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        During the last national elections, and also to some extent during the most recent electoral process, the sub-national elections celebrated in February 2014, some problems were reported on the allocation of free access to air time that affects its principles of transparency and equity.

        Free access to air time is granted to all approved candidacies by the National Electoral Council through the Electoral Promotion Fund. One of the first problems arouse when the allocation of this Fund was criticized by one of the organizations competing for the presidency. The Unidad Plurinacional de las Izquierdas, formed by Movimiento Popular Democrático and Movimiento Pachakutik, presented joint candidates for the presidency during the 2013 national elections. According to the Code of Democracy, coalitions between two or more political organizations shall accumulate the air time that would have been granted to each one separately. However, the National Electoral Council decided to grant the coalition funds equivalent to the amount corresponding to just one political movement. The coalition's representatives filed a complaint stating that the decision violated their rights, but the National Electoral Council ratified its decision (National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-1-27-12-2012) explaining that it was aimed to preserved, over all other consideration, the principle of equity in the competition, thus contradicting Art. 358 of the Code of Democracy.

        In addition to this, the National Electoral Council suspended a television spot produced by Unidad Plurinacional de Izquierdas, ordering the media to remove it from their broadcast. The spot was a cartoon satire of a despotic king that, without explicitly mentioning it, established some parallels with the Ecuadorian government. The authority justified the decision stating that the spot affected the image and dignity of individuals. The coalition appealed the suspension and the case was referred to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court. On February 7th, a week before the campaign was over, the Court issued a sentence in which it reversed the decision of the National Electoral Council, stating that the NEC had violated the freedom of expression of the candidate, and urging the authority to immediately restart the broadcast of the spot. It must be noted, nonetheless, that this affected the possibility of the coalition to transmit its message during campaign period.

        Finally, some inconveniences were reported regarding the access of some organizations to the Electoral Promotion System. In order to hire air time, political organizations were required to name a financial manager to whom the National Electoral Council would provide a key to access the online system. Through that system, financial managers would fill the forms to hire advertising in television, radio, newspapers and billboards. Two organizations, Unidad Plurinacional de las Izquierdas and Sociedad Patriótica, claimed that keys were being provided with considerable delay, which affected their possibility to hire air time and disseminate their campaign messages, contradicting the principle of an equitable competition. This same problem was reported by organizations during the most recent electoral process, the sub-national elections held in February 2014.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. While there were some grievances regarding the electoral authority's allocation of resources, candidates did have equal access to the electoral promotion bonus during the campaign, in particular in the presidential race. NGO Citizen Participation arrived at this conclusion after careful monitoring of hired publicity per each presidential candidate during the campaign. It should be noted that and OAS electoral observation report concluded that, while rules governing campaign spending were tightened during the campaign, this had the effect of shifting the competition to the pre-campagin period, which was unregulated and where some candidates had disproportionate access to media.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        Reports and News

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-1-27-12-2012 Published online on January 5th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-27-DICIEMBRE-2012.pdf

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-14-22-1-2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf

        Electoral Dispute Settlement Court – Sentence 072-13-070213 February 7th, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/9eeafc_SENTENCIA-072-13-070213.pdf

        The Democratic Popular Movement criticizes the Fund (Críticas del MPD al fondo) El Comercio December 30th, 2012 http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/politica/criticas-del-mpd-al-fondo.html

        CNE suspended propaganda (CNE suspendió propagandas) El Tiempo January 24th, 2013 http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/114467-cne-suspendia-propagandas/

        UP will file and appeal at NEC claiming censorship (UP presentará impugnación en CNE por censura) January 26th, 2013 http://albertoacosta2013.com/2013/01/26/impugnacion/

        Acosta: the prohibition and then authorization of the spot “The Little King and his Court” is a joke (Acosta: es una tomadura de pelo prohibición y posterior autorización del spot “El Reyecito y su corte”) Ecuavisa February 13th, 2013 http://desarrollo.ecuavisa.com/noticias/nacionales/72538-acosta-es-una-tomadura-de-pelo-prohibicion-y-posterior-autorizacion-del-spot-el-reyecito-y-su-corte.html

        Problems in providing the access key to parties (Problemas en entrega de claves a partidos) January 6th, 2013 El Telégrafo http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/noticias/informacion-general/item/problemas-en-entrega-de-claves-a-partidos-2.html

        Parties complain about problems on access to air time (Partidos se quejan de fallas en el pautaje) January 10th, 2014 El Universo http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/01/10/nota/2006051/partidos-se-quejan-fallas-pautaje

        Interview Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court July 17th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Boletin de prensa 262, Participacion Ciudadana February 14, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/informefranjasfinal.pdf

        OAS Electoral Observation Mission, Final Report February 18, 2013 http://www.oas.org/es/sap/deco/moe/Ecuador2013/prensa/CP_Feb18.pdf

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    76
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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
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        9
        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        The Ecuadorian law does not include an explicit ban on cash contributions for political organization or candidates, and it does not exactly mandate that contributions be made through an official mechanism such as check or transfer through the banking system. Furthermore, in its art. 215 the Code of Democracy (COD) allows recognized political organizations to receive licit cash contributions during campaign period. This regulation applies to presidential as well as legislative electoral campaigns.

        However, the law clearly states that, once the electoral campaign period begins, it is mandatory for political organizations to designate a financial manager (Art. 363, COD) and open a bank account within the national financial system, for each of the different lists presented (presidential ticket, and national and provincial members of the National Assembly). This account will be the only and exclusive way to manage campaign funds and must be different from the organization's regular bank account (Art. 225 and 361, COD). An exception is made for the legislative candidates that are running for the seats reserved to Ecuadorians living abroad. In their case, financial managers can open bank accounts in countries where foreign vote are cast (Art. 20 Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        The financial manager must keep accounts separately for each list he represents, although not necessarily for each candidate (Art. 17, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial), and all contributions must be reported to and registered by the financial manager.

        The Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial mandate that all cash contributions (and checks) must be deposited in that bank account no later than the next working day and that the deposit receipt must be attached to the accounting documentation presented to the oversight authority (Art. 23).

        In the case of Ecuador there is not an explicit limit for cash contributions either. However, there is a limit on how much each natural person can contribute (cash, in-kind, or any type of contributions). The limit is 5% of the total expenditure authorized for each list/elected office. Contributions from candidates to their own campaign is also limited to 10% of the total expenditure authorized. The other two sources allowed for campaign resources are loans and rents obtained through goods owned by the party or the organization of promotional activities, so these would not directly be regarded as cash contributions and are registered as different categories on accounting records.

        There is, on the other hand, a specific limit to cash expenditures: according to art. 225 of the COD, expenditures superior to the equivalent of 100 dollars (USD) must be made through checks exclusively issued against the electoral campaign bank account.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 215, 225, 361, 363. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 20 and 23. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf (former rules, approved in October 2012, were valid during the general elections in 2013, but there has not been major changes and regulation on contributions remains identical).

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        10
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        The Ecuadorian law includes an explicit ban on anonymous contributions for political organization. Art. 359 of the Code of Democracy (COD) establishes that within the regular assets of political parties and movements, anonymous contributions will not be accepted.

        Although this prohibition is not worded as explicitly in the more specific regulation of campaign funds, the law mandates that once the electoral campaign period begins, it is mandatory for political organizations, for each of the lists presented, to designate a financial manager (Art. 363, COD), who will be the only and exclusive responsible of managing campaign funds (Art. 225 and 361, COD). The financial manager must keep accounts separately for each list he represents (Art. 17, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). All contributions must be reported to and registered by the financial manager. These regulations apply to electoral campaigns for presidential elections as well as for legislative elections, which by law must be celebrated on the same date, and to both parties and individual candidates..

        Additionally, the law stipulates that all contributors must fill a standardized contribution form supplied by the National Electoral Council, with full identification (Art. 220, COD and Art. 18 Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). Furthermore, the COD makes it mandatory for political organizations to present a consolidated balance sheet including a list of contributors (Art. 230). The documentation must include and clearly note the amount of the contributions and the complete identification of original contributors (Art. 232). The Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial, approved in 2014 by Resolution of the National Electoral Council, develops normative in more detail and specifies that contributions receipts must include the contributor's name and surname, ID number, address, telephone number and e-mail (Art. 18). Art. 40 exhaustively lists the documents that political parties must present in their final report, and among them they mention a list of contributors with name, surname, ID number and amount of their contribution.

        Former Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial, approved in October 2012, were valid during the general elections in 2013, but there has not been major changes since normative on this issue remains identical.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 220, 225, 230, 232, 359, 361, 363. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 17, 18, 40. 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Political organizations and candidates can receive licit in-kind contributions during electoral campaign period (Art. 215 and 216, Code of Democracy - COD). This regulation applies to presidential as well as legislative electoral campaigns.

        Once the electoral campaign period begins, it is mandatory for political organizations to designate a financial manager (Art. 363, COD), who will be the only and exclusive responsible of managing campaign funds and can be in charge of the accounts of a single list or of several lists presented by the same organization (Art. 225 and 361, COD). Nonetheless, the financial manager must keep accounts separately for each list he represents (Art. 17, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        According to the law, all in-kind contributions must be registered (Art. 217, COD); they will be valued economically by the financial manager and registered as campaign contributions, assessing its real-price value (el precio real) at the time of the operation (Art. 25, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). This Rules include a mandatory balance sheet format, the “Mandatory Accounting Plan for Permanent Party Fund and electoral campaigns” (Art. 18 and appendix), with a section reserved for in-kind contributions (4.1.2).

        Additionally, Art. 217 of the COD states that, when presenting the final financial report, in-kind contributions not accompanied by its correspondent receipt, which must be issued by the financial manager when registering the contribution, will be considered invalid.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 215-217, 225, 361, 363. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 17 and 25, 18 and appendix. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf (former rules, approved in October 2012, were valid during the general elections in 2013, but there has not been major changes and regulation on financial accountability remains identical).

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        12
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Ecuadorian law allows political actors to obtain loans from the national financial system to cover campaign costs (Art. 223, Code of Democracy). Those loans, or the interests they generate, cannot be directed towards debt relief, and their total amount cannot be higher than twenty percent of the expenditure limit for each type of elected office (Art. 223). Additionally, it is stipulated that all monetary deposits must be registered, no exceptions allowed (Art. 225). This regulation applies to presidential as well as legislative electoral campaigns, but does not explicitly address individual candidates.

        Every debit and every credit to the electoral spending account -which includes loans- must be registered and signed by a legally recognized accountant (Art. 226, 228). The accounting must be kept for five years after the election, and it may be reviewed by electoral authorities at any time during this period (Art. 229).

        Art. 19 of the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial establish that loans will be directly transferred to the bank account opened specifically for the electoral campaign and will be registered as such in the balance sheet. This Rules include a mandatory balance sheet format, the “Mandatory Accounting Plan for Permanent Party Fund and electoral campaigns” (Art. 18 and appendix, with a section reserved for obtained loans (2.1.3).

        Political organizations must cancel these loans no later than ninety days after the celebration of the election, with their own resources (Art. 19, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial.

        In the case of candidates, they may contribute to their own campaigns with an amount that can not exceed ten percent of the total expenditure authorized for each elected office by the National Electoral Council. Any loans they obtain for this purpose, shall be counted as part of that ten percent regarded as self-financing and reported as such. No other mention of candidate-reported loans is made, meaning that all loans to candidates may not necessarily be reported.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 223, 225, 226, 228, 229. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 18 and appendix, and 19. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf (former rules, approved in October 2012, was valid during the general elections in 2013, but there has not been major changes since normative on financial accountability remains identical).

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
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        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In Ecuador, regulation on electoral finance allows political organizations and individual candidates to receive contributions, cash or in-kind, from Ecuador nationals or from foreign individuals with legal residence in Ecuador, to finance electoral campaigns (Art. 216, Code of Democracy - COD). It also establishes certain limits to it: contributions from natural persons can not be superior to five percent of the total expenditure authorized by the National Electoral Council for each type of elected office. In the case of general elections this would include president and vice-president, and members of the assembly elected in the national and provincial districts (Art. 221, COD). If any person exceeds this authorized amount, they shall pay a fee equal to double the excess of their contributions, and the same fee will be applied to political organizations and financial managers who accepted the exceeded contributions (Art. 293).

        Additionally, the law also establishes limits on contributions made by individuals to finance the regular activities of parties and movements outside campaigns. In this case, legal and natural persons can make contributions or donations to political organizations, which can not exceed, on yearly bases, an amount equal to 200 basic family baskets defined by the National Institute of Statistics, or ten percent of the political organization's total annual budget (Art. 359, COD).


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Article 221 of the COD also stipulates that candidates may not contribute to their own campaigns with more than ten percent of the toal expenditure authorized by the National Electoral Council.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 216, 221, 293, 359. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        14
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In Ecuador, corporations are forbidden from making any contribution to presidential or legislative electoral campaigns, and the restriction applies to parties as well as candidates. The law describes the four sources from which political organizations can receive contributions: mandatory fees from party members; voluntary and personal fees that candidates put in for their campaigns; voluntary contributions, cash or in-kind, from Ecuador nationals or from foreign individuals with legal residence in Ecuador; and income that parties and their sectoral fronts obtain as benefits from exploiting their goods, as well as from their promotional activities (Art. 216, Code of Democracy - COD). According to these regulations, contributions to electoral campaigns from corporations or any other legal persons are not allowed. Legal persons, Ecuadorian or foreign, who contribute to electoral campaigns despite the prohibitions established by law shall be sanctioned with a fee equal to three times the amount of their contribution (Art. 297, COD).

        Outside electoral campaign periods legal persons can make contributions or donations to political organizations, which can not exceed, on a yearly basis, an amount equal to 200 basic family baskets defined by the National Institute of Statistics, or ten percent of the total annual budget of the political organization. All the contributions must be duly noted on the financial accounts and published on the organization's website or on the National Electoral Council's website (Art. 359 COD). An explicit ban exists for corporations within which government has an ownership stake; corporations or legal persons with ongoing public contracts; religious congregations; and foreign corporations, institutions and states (Art. 360, COD).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 216, 297, 359 and 360. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        15
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        According to Ecuadorian regulations on political finance, contributions from foreign sources are banned for all types of national elections. The law clearly states that during electoral campaigns political organizations and candidates can only receive voluntary contributions, cash or in-kind, from Ecuador nationals or from foreign individuals with legal residence in Ecuador (Art. 216, Code of Democracy - COD).

        While in campaign period, political organizations can not manage bank accounts opened in foreign financial institutions, with the exception of those opened in countries where foreign votes are in order to manage campaigns of legislative candidates that are running for the seats reserved to Ecuadorians living abroad (Art. 20 Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        With regards to political finance outside campaigns, an explicit ban exists for contributions from foreign corporations, institutions and states (Art. 360, COD).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 216, 297 and 360. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Art. 20. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf (a former Reglamento, approved in October 2012, was valid during the general elections in 2013, but there have not been major changes since normative on financial accountability remains identical).

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        16
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        Political organizations or candidates are not allowed to receive campaign contributions from legal persons, in any kind of electoral process. Taking this into account, donations by corporations, unions, foundations, etc. are forbidden. Authorized sources are: regular mandatory fees from their members; voluntary and personal fees that candidates put in for their campaigns; voluntary contributions, cash or in-kind, from Ecuador nationals or from foreign individuals with legal residence in Ecuador; income that parties and their sectoral fronts obtain as benefits from exploiting their goods, as well as from promotional activities (Art. 216, Code of Democracy - COD). Additionally, the law establishes that no contract will be made through third-parties during electoral campaign (Art. 225).

        The only regulation affecting third-party contributions relates to party financing outside electoral campaigns. Legal persons can make contributions or donations to political organizations, which can not exceed, on a yearly basis, an amount equal to 200 basic family baskets defined by the National Institute of Statistics, or 10% of the total annual budget of the political organization. All the contributions must be duly noted on the financial accounts and published on the political organization's website or on the National Electoral Council's website (Art. 359 COD). An explicit ban exists for corporations within which government has an ownership stake; corporations or legal persons with ongoing public contracts; religious congregations; and foreign corporations, institutions and states (Art. 360, COD).

        Art. 297 of the COD states that foreign natural or legal persons that contribute to campaigns despite the legal prohibitions will be sanctioned with a fee equal to three times their contribution.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 216, 225, 359 and 360. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador establishes that the law will determine limits and oversight mechanisms of expenditure during electoral campaigns (Art. 115). The Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial state that the limits will be set by the National Electoral Council and will be made public when elections dates are announced (Art. 10).

        During electoral campaigns, advertising and propaganda by political organizations will be covered by the Electoral Promotion Fund granted as indirect public funding. As mandated by the Code of Democracy (COD), no political actor that intervenes in an electoral process can exceed, in activities different from the aforementioned, the following limits: for the President and Vice-President ticket, the amount that results from multiplying USD 0.15 for the total number of voters included in the national electoral roll (in case a second round of presidential elections is celebrated, the limit will be reduced to forty percent of that established for the first round); for national and provincial member of the National Assembly, the amount that results from multiplying USD 0.15 for the total number of voters included in the electoral roll of the corresponding electoral district (one national district for the national members, and each province for the provincial members), although in no case will the limit be inferior to USD 15,000; for the candidates running for the seats reserved to Ecuadorians living abroad, the amount that results from multiplying USD 0.30 for the total number of voters included in the electoral roll of the corresponding special foreign district (Art. 209). An exception is considered for the Amazon Region and Galapagos provinces, due to their particular geographic conditions, and an increase of twenty percent is allowed on established limits.

        It must also be considered that, once election date is announced, political organizations can organize activities in order to publicize their ideological principles, programmatic proposals, agendas, and candidates, as long as it does not involve advertising in press, radio, television and billboards. All these expenditures will be considered part of the total campaign expenditure (Art. 208, COD), and must be included in the campaign financial report presented to the oversight authority (Art. 28, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        The COD includes sanctions, including monetary fees, for political actors and financial managers that exceed authorized limits (Art. 294 and 295).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 10, 115. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 215, 225, 294, 295, 361, 363. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 10 and 28. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf (a former Reglamento, approved in October 2012, was valid during the general elections in 2013, but there has not been major changes since normative on financial accountability remains identical).

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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        Ecuador is a unitary political system, although some margin of autonomy is granted to subnational levels of government in the Constitution (Arts. 238-242). The country celebrated its latest elections on February 23rd, 2014 to elect sub-national authorities (elecciones seccionales), including: prefectos, alcaldes, concejales urbanos y rurales y vocales de juntas parroquiales. The regulations on political financing for these elections are contained in the same legal instruments valid for national elections.

        The one exception might be the allocation of direct public funding for political movements: these organizations can be formed at any territorial level (national, regional, provincial, local) but only those that: 1) obtain at least four percent of national votes in two consecutive multi-member elections, or 2) have at least 3 representatives in the National Assembly, or 3) won 8% of al local governments, or 4) won at least one local council member seat in each of at least 10% of localities in the country, are eligible to receive direct funding (Art. 355 of the COD, CNE's Manual de Transparencia). Therefore, for political movements based in small localities it is extremetly difficult to meet eligibility requirements for the Political Permanent Fund. It must be noted that sectional elections qualify as electoral instances to meet the requirements (for example, the 2014 Permanent Party Fund will consider percentage of votes obtained by political organizations in 2013 general elections and the results of the latest sub-national competition held on February).

        According to article 327 of the COD, local movements lose their legal standing when they fail to obtain 3% of the vote in their local jurisdiction in two consecutive elections.

        The Constitution establishes the Electoral Branch (Función Electoral) as one of the constituent powers of the political system (together with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and states that it will be comprised of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, both with national jurisdiction (Art 17). Art. 218 of the Constitution, as well as Art. 18 of the COD, contemplate the existence of decentralized bodies (órganos desconcentrados) within the National Electoral Council. Additionally, Arts. 35, 58 and 59 regulate the temporary and permanent sub-national delegations of the Electoral Council and their competences which do not include regulation in terms of political financing. Electoral Provincial Delegations are the permanent decentralized bodies, in charge of technical and administrative management. These Delegations will exercise the competences of control and oversight of advertising, propaganda and electoral expenditure within their jurisdiction. They shall receive final accounting reports of sub-national campaigns but must refer the files to the National Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure. On this matter, the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial includes a special provision: the oversight of financial accounts corresponding to sub-national elections might be carried out by a sampling procedure (Art. 41). The National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure confirmed that currently, accounting reports of 2014 sub-national campaigns filed by financial managers are being audited after a sampling process was applied. The total number of reports presented was 7520, which made it quite difficult to control each one of them.

        Expenditure limits for electoral campaigns at all levels of government are regulated in Art. 209 of the COD; in its numbers 3 and 5 to 8 it covers elections for gobernadores, prefectos, alcaldes, consejeros regionales, concejales y vocales de juntas parrioquiales. Art. 366 states that oversight of political parties' financial activities and control of electoral expenditure by political organization will be exclusively carried out by the National Electoral Council. National jurisdiction of the institution is ratified in the Rules of Electoral Promotion (Art. 1 and 2) and in the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Arts. 1 and 2).

        Press coverage of the subnational elections suggests that the National Electoral Council is the only institution responsible for the organization of the electoral process and will be the only authority in charge of determining electoral funding and the oversight of electoral expenditures. Simón Pachano, Professor at FLACSO and specialist on political financing, reported that as Ecuador is a unitary system, although the Constitution granted some exclusive competences to decentralized autonomous governments, the regulation on political financing stem from the National Electoral Council. The regional delegations of the institution do not have autonomy to regulate or control this issue, beyond the tasks assigned to them by the National Electoral Council.

        Jorge León Trujillo, scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador), confirmed that no major problems have been reported from gaps in the legal framework that regulates national and subnational elections. Most of the problems reported by the press refer to mechanisms of vote counting that also affect national elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 17, 218, 238-242. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        CNE, Manual de Transparencia, 2013. http://www.slideshare.net/roxanasilvach/manual-de-transparencia

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 25, 215, 327, 355, 356 and 357. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules of Electoral Promotion Arts. 1 and 2. 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/Reglamento_Promocion2013.pdf

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) (Resolución del Pleno del Consejo Nacional Electoral PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014) Arts. 1 and 2. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

        2014 Elections will cost over 137 million dollars (Elecciones 2014 costarán más de $ 137 millones) Redacción Actualidad El Telégrafo May 30th, 2013 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/noticias/informacion-general/item/elecciones-2014-costaran-mas-de-137-millones.html

        45-day electoral campaign begins in Ecuador to elect 5,651 sectional authorities (Inicia en Ecuador campaña electoral de 45 días para elegir 5.651 autoridades seccionales) No specific author mentioned Agencia Pública de Noticias del Ecuador y Suramérica January 7th, 2014 http://www.andes.info.ec/es/noticias/inicia-ecuador-campana-electoral-45-dias-elegir-5651-autoridades-seccionales.html

        Simón Pachano Professor FLACSO University, Ecuador July 11th, 2014

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 17th, 2014

        Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In terms of sources of electoral campaign, the Code of Democracy (COD) establishes certain restrictions: contributions from natural persons can not be superior to five percent of the total electoral expending authorized for each type of elected office, and candidates can only contribute to their own campaign up to ten percent of the total authorized expenditure (Art. 221). If any person exceeds this authorized amount, they shall pay a fee equal to double the excess of their contributions, and the same fee will be applied to political organizations and financial managers who accepted the exceeded contributions (Art. 293).

        The campaign fund that parties and their sectoral fronts can generate as benefits from their own goods and through promotional activities can not be superior to fifty percent of the total authorized expenditure (Art. 222). Finally, organizations can obtain loans from the national financial system to cover campaign costs but their total amount can not be higher than twenty percent of the expenditure limit for each type of elected office (Art. 223).

        Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure pointed that the main source of funding for electoral campaign is the indirect public funding that the National Electoral Council provides in the form of free access to air time and advertising. According to Director Cisneros, on average, advertising in television, radio, newspapers and billboards represents fifty percent of the total expenditure during campaign, and parties can only hire these services through the Electoral Promotion Fund provided by the National Electoral Council. This despite the fact that, according to the legislation, funds for electoral promotion must be equal to forty percent of the total expenditure authorized for each elected office. For parties that have difficulties collecting additional resources, the indirect public funding is practically their only source.

        Víctor Hugo Ajila adds that advertising is the main campaign activity for parties and agrees that the Electoral Promotion Fund is the most important source of financing. Particularly when taking into account that advertising prices would be considerably higher if parties hired an equal amount of air time privately.

        Regarding alternative ways to collect contributions, according to the Director, candidates always contribute to their own campaign the maximum amount authorized, which is equal to ten percent of total expenditure. Besides this, parties fund their campaigns mostly through mandatory fees by their members and individual contributions, cash and in-kind. It must be noted that legal persons are not allowed to make contributions to campaigns, thus restricting corporations, unions, foundations, associations, etc. However, officials of the oversight authority have mentioned that some corporations try to circumvent this ban by registering small contributions on behalf of their employees without them being consulted on this.

        There is no mention in the law, among authorized sources of campaign funding, about income resulting from parties running their own businesses or trusts. Even though organizations are, on the other hand, allowed to include among their resources for campaign funding the benefits obtained through their goods or the organization of promotional activities, the report reviewed does not show contributions coming from this source. With regards to this, Victor Hugo Ajila points that there are not many parties that have additional properties besides the office where the organization is located.

        In terms of financing their non-electoral regular activities, parties also rely mainly in public funding. In this case, the direct funding is provided through the Permanent Party Fund. According to the annual report of the party in government, which is one of the largest and, therefore, with strong capacity to collect funds, fifty-one percent of the annual resources the organization reports come from the aforementioned Fund.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - Simon Pachano noted that in the past there were cases of political organizations making investments in order to raise funds, but that this is not well documented and appears to no longer be the case. In fact, there are currently no publicly known businesses or trusts run by political organizations. The fact that political organizations have failed to comply with the National Electoral Council's process to oversee electoral spending makes it difficult to systematically assess trends in private financing sources. After the February 2014 local elections, the National Electoral Council extendend the deadline twice for political organizations to submit the required information.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 221-223, 293. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Permanent Party Fund Documents Asiento de Diario FP AP Balance General FP AP Comprobante de Contribuciones FP AP Comprobante de Egreso FP AP Comprobante de Ingreso FP AP Estado de Resultados FP AP Libro Mayor FP AP

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court August 9th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Simon Pachano University professor September 23, 2014

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council, through the Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, performs the exam of campaign accounting reports approximately four to five months after the celebration of elections. However, a resolution was issued by the Council on July 31st, 2013, mentioning that many parties had not presented their reports even after more that five months had passed since election day, and granting them fifteen additional days to comply with their obligations. The institution has up to two years to conclude the examination process. This means that the most important part of the process of oversight and control is done a posteriori.

        The oversight of the 2013 campaign reports was finished on July 2014 and the Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure has already issued a notice with their preliminary conclusions on which reports should be definitely filed as complete and in compliance with the norms. This notice also includes a list of accounting records for which the institution has observations or needs additional documentation or clarification. In these cases, the financial managers are granted fifteen days to address the observations or requests made by the oversight authority. Some of the observations are related to contributions that lack supporting documents or have unclear origin or use, as well as amounts of expenses that exceed the authorized limits.

        Until these 15 days have passed and the National Electoral Council issues a final resolution in plenary session, the violations are not made public. Therefore, the final information on the 2013 is not available yet.

        However, the National Electoral Council monitors some behaviors and infractions during the campaign periods. Several sentences (more than fifteen) issued by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court sanction different political organizations for the display of advertising billboards unauthorized by the National Electoral Council. The estimated cost of the billboards is charged as expenses for the political organization and, when direct responsibility can be established, the head of the political organization or the financial manager are sanctioned with a fee.

        Additionally, the Court sanctioned one of the presidential candidates for distributing gifts during his campaign. A sanction was also imposed on a public official for use of public resources and infrastructure during campaign. He was found driving an official vehicle, carrying electoral propaganda for the party in government. The party did not receive any sanction, however.

        The National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure pointed that during the revision of reports, they have found a case of a company that was making small donations of similar amount in the name of their employees , with personal data they had extracted from the payroll and without previously consulting the affected workers. The Director also mentioned that they have found contributions by young people who do not work or declare rent but donate to several parties.

        With regards to the last elections, celebrated in February 2014, the National Electoral Council has already sanctioned the financial managers of the political organizations that failed to present their electoral accounting reports.

        Regarding audits of non-electoral funds, Roxana Silva, standing member of the National Electoral Council, reported that four parties are in process of being sanctioned for wrongful use of the resources allocated to them through the 2011 Permanent Party Fund.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - To provide some context, it should be pointed that Ecuador has a long history of excess in electoral public spending and inadequate controls. In 2002, the runner up presidential candidate spent over twice the legally permitted amount and paid for the fine with discounted public bonds. In 2006, the two presidential candidates who ran in the election exceded the limits by similar amounts. This situation has also been extensive in non-presidential races as well (Pachano 2011).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Permanent Party Fund 2011 report to General Comptroller September, 2013

        Accounting reports Chimborazo July, 2014

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-14-22-1-2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf (Spots Removal)

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-10-20-8-2013 Published online on October 7th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-20-AGOSTO-2013.pdf (Four parties pointed for wrongful use of funds)

        Sentences by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (no publication date available, but all issued during 2013 and related to the 2013 campaign) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a91c73SENTENCIA-017-13-050213.pdf (Sentence for distribuiting gifts) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/ee0c7eSENTENCIA-090-13.pdf (Abuse of public resources)

        Sentences by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court regarding unauthorized advertising billboards http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/d483e7SENTENCIA-009-13.pdf http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a8d522SENTENCIA-012-13-200213.pdf http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a39500SENTENCIA-014-13.pdf http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/d2fe11SENTENCIA-018-13-210213.pdf http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/8e5134SENTENCIA-022-13-ACUMULADA-062-067-13-110313.pdf http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/d6a99eSENTENCIA%20044-13-130313.pdf

        NEC sanctions financial managers of political organizations (CNE sanciona a responsables de manejo económico de organizaciones políticas) Press Release by National Electoral Council July 28th, 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/sala-de-prensa1/noticias-anteriores/6089-cne-sanciona-a-responsables-de-manejo-economico-de-organizaciones-politicas

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

        Yolanda Velasco Director of Responsibilities Office of the General Comptroller August 6th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Pachano, Simón. 2011. "Financiamiento de los partidos poli?ticos en Ecuador," en Pablo Gutiérrez y Daniel Zovatto (coordinadores). Financiamiento de los partidos políticos en América Latina, Instituto Internacional para la Democracia y la Asistencia Electoral, Organización de los Estados Americanos y Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México.

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    37
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Ecuadorian regulations establish specific norms on financial reporting outside and during campaign periods. The different rules specify procedures to designate the person in charge of keeping accounts, the mandatory supporting documents that political actors must present, and the frequency with which reports must be filed. During electoral campaigns, and for all types of elections, the financial manager/s designated by the organization must keep separate accounts for each list presented. Outside campaign periods only parties as a whole are obliged to file reports. Candidates are under no such obligation.

        The Code of Democracy (COD) stipulates that political organizations must designate a financial manager who will be exclusively responsible for managing regular funds (income and expenditure) within the organization. For this purpose, the financial manager must open a single bank account within the national system (Art. 361). He or she will be in charge of keeping accounts, following Ecuadorian accounting standards, and providing supporting documents for all transactions (Art. 362).

        Additionally, the law states that, once the electoral campaign begins, it is mandatory for political organizations to register a financial manager at the National Electoral Council, specially designated to carry out this task during campaign period (Art. 214 and 363, COD). The financial manager must keep records separately and open a bank account within the national financial system for each list presented by the organization (Arts. 17 and 20, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). This account will be the only and exclusive way to manage campaign funds, and must be different from the one regularly used by the organization (Art. 225 and 361, COD). When presenting campaign financial accounts of multi-member lists, the proportional distribution among members of the list must be clearly detailed (Art. 36). It is mandatory for political organizations to follow these requirements for each of the electoral processes in which they participate.

        The law establishes that electoral campaigns strictly considered shall not exceed a period of forty-five days and will finish 48hs. prior to election day (Art. 202, COD and Art. 3, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). However, it must be taken into account that since election date is officially announced until the first day of the campaign period, political organizations can organize activities in order to publicize their ideological principles, programmatic proposals, agendas, and candidates, as long as it does not involve advertising in press, radio, television and billboards. This is considered the pre-campaign period and will be subject to oversight and monitoring by the National Electoral Council (Art. 30, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). The cost of all activities or advertising organized or publicized during pre-campaign period will be registered as part of the total campaign expenditure (Art. 208, COD). These transactions must be included in detail in the campaign financial report presented to the oversight authority, and will be subject to monitoring (Art. 28, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        Political organizations must submit itemized expenditures as well as contributions in their campaign financial reports. The National Electoral council has developed software for political organization's financial managers to input detailed accounting information on electoral expenditures, has provided training sessions, and has developed user manuals available online.

        The accounting records for electoral funds must include all contributions, of any nature and from any natural person, as well as all expenses, with their respective receipts (Art. 228, COD). The National Electoral Council will provide standardized contributions and expenses receipt forms of mandatory use by the financial managers, which will be attached to the final financial report (Art. 18, 27 and 31, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        According to the regulations, the accounts must be kept in a chronological, systematic, daily and accurate way using the mandatory balance sheet format, the “Mandatory Accounting Plan for Permanent Party Fund and electoral campaigns”, included in the appendix of the document (Art. 18, 31 and appendix, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). Within ninety days after the celebration of the election, the financial manager must present to the oversight authority the consolidated balance sheet, a list of contributors and the amount of the contributions, and all the original supporting documents (Art. 230 and 231, COD). This report must include and clearly note all transactions: the amount and nature of all contributions received, their origin and full identification of original contributors, as well as the use and total amount of expenses, classified by categories (Art. 232, COD). Art. 40 of the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial lists in detail all the documents that must be included the final accounting file.

        Outside of campaign periods, organizations that have received resources from the Permanent Party Fund must present an annual report with detailed information on how those resources were used (Art. 226 and 362). Additionally, according to the Rules of allocation of the Permanent Party Fund among organizations, “it is mandatory for political organizations to present to the National Electoral Council, during the first trimester every year, all accounting documentation corresponding to the former fiscal year. This information must include public and private contributions received, as well as supporting documents of the origin and use of those contributions” (Art. 4). All the contributions and donations (and the goods acquired with those resources) must be duly noted on the financial accounts and published on the organization's website or on the National Electoral Council's website (Art. 354 and 359 COD).

        Although the regulation on the type of reports that organizations must present outside campaign periods is not as detailed as that regarding electoral funds, the COD states that the financial report presented annually by organizations and alliances shall meet the same requirements stipulated for the report on campaign funds (Art. 368). The “Mandatory Accounting Plan for Permanent Party Fund and electoral campaigns”, included in the appendix of the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial, must also be used to file annual reports (Art. 18, 31 and appendix).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 202, 208, 214, 225-232, 354, 359, 361-363, 368. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund among organizations Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-2-20-7-2011 Published online on August 3rd, 2011. Art. 4. http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/resoluciones359/1680-r-20-julio-2011

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014 Arts. 3, 4, 18, 20, 27, 31, 40. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

        CNE, Sistema de rendición de cuentas, Manual del Usuario http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/veronicasanchez/Manual%20del%20Usuario%20CPA.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        Once the presidential and legislative electoral campaign period begins, it is mandatory for political organizations to designate a financial manager (Art. 363, COD), who will be the only and exclusive agent responsible of managing campaign funds. Although the same financial manager can be in charge of the accounts of a single list or several lists presented by the same organization (Art. 225 and 361, COD), he or she must keep accounts separately for each list he represents (Art. 17, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial). This, however, does not mean he or she must present reports on each candidate on the list individually.

        According to legislation, political organizations do not have to present financial reports periodically during the forty-five days campaign period. The only explicit obligation refers to the final report, which organizations must hand in within ninety days after the elections (Art. 230, COD). This same requisite is confirmed by the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Art. 38), and applies to all types of national elections.

        However, the National Electoral Council issued a notification in January 2013 urging financial managers of all political organizations involved in the electoral campaign to present weekly and obligatory reports on total campaign expenditure (Circular No. CNE-DNF-2013-0001-C). Taking this into account, it must be noted that the law authorizes the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court to request relevant information to monitor the amount, origin and use of campaign funds from any public or private organization. In addition, it stipulates that no data shall be denied arguing bank secrecy or any other restriction, and that information shall be provided within eight days upon request, to avoid legal sanctions (Art. 213).

        The Code of Democracy establishes sanctions in case political organizations fail to present their final reports on the established period (Arts. 234, 275, 281 and 301, COD).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 213, 214, 225, 227, 230, 231, 275, 281, 301, 361. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014) Arts. 20, 38. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

        Notification requesting weekly reports during campaign Circular No. CNE-DNF-2013-0001-C National Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council January 14th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/files/gabrielar/0001-C_GastosCampaa_Electoral.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Outside of campaign periods, only political organizations are obliged to file reports and this requirement exists on a yearly basis. Organizations that have received resources from the Permanent Party Fund must present an annual report with detailed information on how those resources were used (Art. 226 and 362, Code of Democracy - COD). In addition, according to the Rules for the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund among organizations, “it is mandatory for political organizations to present to the National Electoral Council, during the first trimester every year, all accounting documentation corresponding to the former fiscal year. This information must include public and private contributions received, as well as supporting documents of the origin and use of those contributions” (Art. 4). All the contributions and donations (and the goods acquired with those resources) must be duly noted on the financial accounts and published on the organization's website or on the National Electoral Council's website (Art. 354 and 359 COD).

        Art. 375 of the COD and Art. 4 of the Rules of allocation of the Permanent Party Fund establish sanctions for organizations that fail to comply with the reporting regulations in due time.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 226, and 362. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund among organizations Approved by National Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-2-20-7-2011 Published online on August 3rd, 2011. Art. 4. http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/resoluciones359/1680-r-20-julio-2011

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        According to legislation political organizations do not have to present financial reports periodically during the forty-five days campaign period. However, the National Electoral Council issued a notification on January 2013 urging financial managers of all political organizations involved in the electoral campaign to present in weekly and obligatory reports the total campaign expenditure (Circular No. CNE-DNF-2013-0001-C). That information is not currently available online at the National Electoral Council's website. Instead, an .xls format file can be freely downloaded with data on weekly total expenditure for parties during the 2014 sectional campaign. The information is not detailed or itemized and it only includes total contributions and expenditure. On this subject, Víctor Hugo Ajila, legal advisor to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, stressed the fact that, since the obligation of weekly reports is not contained in the law or in the specific rules, it is easier for parties to circumvent this request.

        Regarding the final reports that organization must present, press coverage indicates that at least 11 organizations had not complied with these regulations, even after being notified by the Electoral Council and granted an additional period of 15 days. The same seems to be happening with the 2014 electoral reports. The National Electoral Council sent the 2013 campaign cases to be prosecuted by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court. This was confirmed during an interview with José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure. Cisneros also pointed that, having a period of two years to complete the oversight and control of expenditures for each election, the office he directs has just finished auditing the 2013 campaign financial accounts presented by parties and movements. The final report, however, has not yet been issued. As reported by El Universo, the newspaper requested information on electoral contributions and expenditure on January 2014 and Cisneros responded that the audit was not finished.

        When consulted about the weekly reports that parties had to present, Cisneros pointed that the information was not available because the audit was in progress and that it was, as the data on the 2014 elections, a list of total contributions and expenditures instead of an itemized report. The detailed information is contained in the final reports parties must present. Cisneros added that the National Electoral Council has made available a new simple accounting software, which can be accessed on their website online for free. Right now parties and organizations can voluntarily choose to use it to present their financial information digitally, and the goal is progressively implementing it as a mandatory tool. This would enhance transparency and would constitute an improvement, according to Cisneros, on fully guaranteeing access to information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Reports:

        Notification requesting weekly reports during campaign Circular No. CNE-DNF-2013-0001-C National Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council January 14th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/files/gabrielar/0001-C_GastosCampaa_Electoral.pdf

        Weekly Expenditure Reports by Political Organizations National Electoral Council http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/veronicasanchez/fiscalizacion/GastosSemanalesConsolidadosEleccionesSeccionales_2014.xlsx

        News:

        Parties have until June 17th to present reports Partidos tienen hasta el 17 de junio para declarar No specific author mentioned El Telégrafo March 19th, 2013 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/elecciones-ecuador/item/partidos-tienen-hasta-el-17-de-junio-para-declarar.html

        NEC sends investigation files for not justifying expenditures (CNE envía expedientes por no justificación de gastos) Redacción Actualidad El Telégrafo August 2nd, 2013 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/noticias/informacion-general/item/cne-envia-expedientes-por-no-justificacion-de-gastos.html

        NEC opens investigation files for not reporting accounts CNE abre expedientes por falta de informes económicos No specific author mentioned La Hora August 3rd, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101543738/-1/CNEabreexpedientesporfaltadeinformes_econ%C3%B3micos.html#.U8yo7YBdV98

        NEC has not finished audits on 2013 expenditures (CNE no termina auditoría de gastos de 2013) No specific author mentioned El Universo January 19th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/01/19/nota/2049691/cne-no-termina-auditoria-gastos-2013

        More time to present campaign expenditure reports (Más tiempo para presentar gastos de última campaña) No specific author mentioned Ecuador Times May 24th, 2014 http://www.ecuadortimes.net/es/2014/05/27/mas-tiempo-para-presentar-gastos-de-ultima-campana/

        Interviews:

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 17th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court July 17th, 2014

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Parties must present accounting records that must include and clearly note all transactions: the amount and nature of all contributions received, their origin and full identification of original contributors, as well as the use and total amount of expenses, classified by categories. For this purpose, the National Electoral Council provides standardized contributions and expenses receipt forms, as well as a balance sheet form, of mandatory use. The financial manager must present to the oversight authority the consolidated balance sheet, a list of contributors and the amount of the contributions, and all the original supporting documents. The reports must be filed separately for each list presented by the party, but not for each candidate individually. Managers for individual candidates must also file reports.

        The National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure reported that, although some parties fail to present their reports during the established period, those who do comply with the obligation of using the official standardized forms provided by the National Electoral Council, which establishes an itemized report.

        Access to financial reports proved that parties present itemized contributions, classified in cash and in-kind, and the total amount of each category. Contributions are also classified as coming from nationals or foreign individuals with legal residence in Ecuador. Organizations record, as well, income that results from interest rates or their own promotional activities.

        On a separate documents, the report includes a daily record of transactions; a list of all contributors, with the amount of money they put in and their identification; and documentation of deposit of cash contributions in the campaign bank account.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It is extremely hard to empirically assess whether political organizations selectively leave out certain contributions in their reports to the electoral authorities. However, there have been cases that bring this issue to table, especially when it comes to the use of public resources at all levels of government. For example, during the 2011 referendum, there was confusion around the reporting of expenditures from the governing political organization. Former minister Gustavo Larrea was quoted in an El Comercio article (June 6, 2011) stating that the President had campaigned in a referendum and that his campaign travels implied costs for his political organization and should be accounted for. Unfortunately, there are no reports about practicies around this issue, largely because of the difficulty to systematically gather evidence. The oversight authorities have a tighter control over media coverage during campaigns than over unreported private contributions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Campaign Financial Information Reports of the MPD. March 31, 2013. Not yet published by the CNE. Accessed in July, 2014.

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Más dudas por los gastos de A. Pais El Comercio, June 6, 2011 http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/politica/mas-dudas-gastos-de-a.html

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        Access to public information is addressed mainly in the Constitution and the Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information. More specific regulations on political finance information are included in the Code of Democracy and they apply only to political organizations. According to Ecuadorian Constitution and law, financial information, which is considered public information, must be made available to the public, and the oversight authority must publish it digitally on its official website. Regarding costs, the information, by general rule, must be available for free or at reproduction cost. The normative on public information stipulates that requests must be answered within ten days.

        The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador declares that every person has the right to “gain access freely to information generated in public institutions or in private institutions that handle State funds or perform public duties. There shall be no confidentiality of information except in those cases expressly provided for by the law” (Art. 18). It provides for a mechanism, the petition for access to public information, aimed at “guaranteeing access to this information, when this information has been denied expressly or tacitly or when the information provided is incomplete or not trustworthy. It can be filed even if the denial to provide information is based on the secret, reserved, confidential nature of the information or any other classification. The reserved nature of the information must be stated prior to the petition by a competent authority and in accordance with the law” (Art. 91). Furthermore, the Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information states that public information belongs to the citizens and the State and private institutions that handle public archives are obliged to guarantee access to information. It also stipulates that public information, by general rule, will be available for free or at reproduction costs (Art. 4).

        In its Art. 15 the law specifically addresses financial information: the Superior Electoral Tribunal, within 60 days after receiving the reports on electoral funds, shall publish the amount of the electoral contributions and expenditures of each campaign in its website. It must be taken into account that this law was approved in 2004, when the Superior Electoral Tribunal was the only electoral authority. After the 2008 Constitution, which established the Electoral Branch, two new organizations were created: the National Electoral Council, in charge of electoral administration, and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, in charge of electoral justice. Currently, the National Electoral Council is the oversight authority in matters related to electoral funds, and the institution to which financial reports are presented. Sanctions for those who fail to provide legitimately requested information are mentioned in Art. 23.

        The Code of Democracy (COD) stipulates that information on the accountability of amounts, origin and use of electoral funds shall be public (Art. 212). The National Electoral Council shall make available, during and after the electoral process, all the information related to the funding and expenditures of political actors on its official website, as to allow citizens to consult and oversee (Art. 211). It adds that it is mandatory for political organizations to comply with their obligations regarding transparency and access to information (Art. 331).

        The Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial mandate that, once the accounting filed has been monitored and the final resolution issued, the Secretary of the National Electoral Council will digitalize all the documents that were used during the oversight process (Art. 52).

        There is one mention of a situation that would justify the oversight authority to withhold information: the law authorizes the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court to request information needed to monitor the amount, origin and use of campaign funds from any public or private organization. However, the National Electoral Council will considered that information as reserved until the oversight process is concluded and the corresponding resolution is issued (Art. 213, COD).

        With regards to the mechanisms for requesting information, the specific laws on political finance do not include regulations in this matter. However, since information on the accountability of amounts, origin and use of electoral funds in considered public, the Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information applies. The person interested in accessing public information must present a written request addressed the head of the institution. The request must include clear identification of the applicant, and the location of the information or the matters of interest (Art. 19). The head of the institution must reply within ten days upon request, with the possibility to extend that period for five additional days, due to duly justified causes that must be informed to the applicant (Art. 9).

        The COD also includes a provision for information on private funds outside electoral campaign: all the contributions received by political organizations must be duly noted on the financial accounts and published on their website or on the National Electoral Council's website (Art. 359 COD). Additionally, the Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information states that all parties and political organizations that receive public funding shall publish electronically, and on a yearly basis, their detailed reports on the use of those funds (Art. 16).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 18, 91. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 211-213, 331, 359. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information (Ley Orgánica de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública) Art. 4, 9, 15, 16, 19, 23. 2004. http://www.ministeriointerior.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/03/LEY-ORGANICA-DE-TRANSPARENCIA-Y-ACCESO-A-LA-INFORMACION-PUBLICA.pdf

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014), Arts. 52. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Financial information on the last national election is not publicly available yet and it is recorded by financial managers for each list presented by the organizations and not for each candidate individually. It appears to be extremely difficult for citizens to access this kind of information, despite several regulations aimed at guaranteeing this right.

        The National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure pointed that the audits of the accounting reports corresponding to the 2013 national election have just finished and that information will not be made available to the public until the National Electoral Council issues its resolutions on the reports in plenary session. According to the Director, this might take place in one to two months' time. Currently, the information is confidential ('under reserve') and it was pointed that, even when published, it would be uploaded to the National Electoral Council's website in .pdf format to avoid the modification on any financial data.

        When asked about the time it would take, if the information was public, for a citizen that requested this data to have access to it, the Director estimated that the response would take around two or three weeks.

        Xavier Letamendi, journalist and political editor, pointed that information uploaded online on the National Electoral Council's website has always been incomplete and that parties do not comply with their obligation of making their financial information available on their sites. Indeed, parties do not publish this information online and some of them do not even have an updated website.

        Currently, on the National Electoral Council's website there is partial information on weekly financial reports of the 2011 and 2014 electoral processes in .xls format, but the reports are not itemized and the information is incomplete. No definite and complete financial report on campaign contributions and expenses is available online, for any electoral process. The information and documents available on the Electoral Spending section of the website is related to regulations in force, standardized forms of compulsory use, and the optional online software for presenting accounting information.

        The Electoral Monitoring Mission conducted by the Organization of American States recommended improving the quality of the systems of accountability and report presentation, in order to the auditing process and make it easier for citizens to access campaign financial information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Reports Weekly Expenditure Reports by Political Organizations National Electoral Council http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/veronicasanchez/fiscalizacion/GastosSemanalesConsolidadosEleccionesSeccionales_2014.xlsx

        Report of the OAS Electoral Monitoring Mission – Ecuador 2013 Organization of American States February 18th, 2013 http://www.oas.org/es/sap/deco/moe/Ecuador2013/prensa/CP_Feb18.pdf

        News

        NEC has not finished auditing 2013 expenditure (CNE no termina auditoría de gastos del 2013) January 19th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/01/19/nota/2049691/cne-no-termina-auditoria-gastos-2013

        Interviews

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

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        0
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        The law states that parties must use compulsory and standardized accounting report forms authorized and provided by the National Electoral Council, for all types of elections. The institution makes these forms available to download for free on its website in .xlsx format. Since the National Electoral Council has not yet issued a resolution in plenary session regarding accounting reports of the 2013 elections, the information has not been made available to the public. Parties do not publish this information on their websites either. This means that the financial information of parties is, to date, not published in any format.

        Access to a limited number of reports shows that parties and movements comply with the use of the authorized forms provided by the National Electoral Council.

        José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, and Victor Hugo Ajila, legal advisor to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court confirmed that political organizations fulfill their obligation to use the compulsory forms. However, it was pointed that when pertinent, the information will be made available on the Council's website in .pdf format.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The National Electoral Council has published online reports on weekly spending by candidates during the local elections of Februrary 2014. However, these reports only show aggregate spending and aggregate income that political organizations have reported per week, and does not itemize. While incomplete and rudimentary, these reports are standardized for all candidates.The reports are available online at no cost. While this is a step forward regarding previous elections, it still does not fully comply with what is mandated by law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Authorized accounting documents forms (#6) National Electoral Council No publication date available http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/gastoelectoralinformativo/5731-rendicion-de-cuentas

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court July 25th, 2014

        Campaign Financial Information Reports of the MPD. March 31, 2013. Not yet published by the CNE. Accessed in July, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: Weekly electoral spending per candidate, February 2014 local elections http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/gastoelectoralinformativo

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Regarding the last national election, no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting. The main reason for the absence of these data on media articles or investigations is the fact that this information is not yet available through the National Electoral Council, nor through political organizations themselves.

        Journalists state that political organizations are especially guarded with their financial information and they do not make it available, even upon request. Regarding data provided by the National Electoral Council, journalists report that when it is made available, it is incomplete and sometimes outdated. One article specifically mentions having requested financial information on the 2013 election in January 2014, to investigate on certain contributions. The Council's response was that the audit of those documents was not finished and the reports remained as reserved information. The situation remains the same in August 2014, since the National Electoral Council has not yet issued a final resolution on their exam of electoral expenditure during the last national election.

        Most of the times, articles and news in mainstream media regarding political finance refers to the Council's decisions on expenditure limits, on sanctions resulting of the monitoring of unauthorized advertising during campaign and pre-campaign periods, and on funds allocated to parties. Mainly, the media reproduces press releases by the National Electoral Council.

        Journalists and scholars have also insisted on the fact that the current situation of freedom of expression in Ecuador makes it difficult for journalists to freely report on several issues, especially during campaign periods, since laws have severely restricted the work of the press.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        News

        NEC has not finished auditing 2013 expenditure (CNE no termina auditoría de gastos del 2013) El Universo January 19th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/01/19/nota/2049691/cne-no-termina-auditoria-gastos-2013

        Fundamedios: 'article 203 of the Code of Democracy introduces dangerous prohibitions' (Fundamedios: “artículo 203 del Código de la Democracia, introduce peligrosas prohibiciones”) El Mercurio December 29th, 2012 http://www.elmercurio.com.ec/362780-fundamedios-articulo-203-del-codigo-de-la-democracia-introduce-peligrosas-prohibiciones/#.U-uZioCSzMY

        Interviews

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Anonymous Ecuadorian journalist and international correspondent Correspondent for media in Great Britain and Spain, Member of the Forum of Journalists (FOPE) July 15th, 2014

        Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        During the last national elections, the mainstream media reported many incidents of violation or abuse of political laws. Since the final audit of the 2013 election accounting reports by political organizations has very recently concluded, potential violations on specific regulations – such as expenditure limits, cash contributions, limits to self-financing, etc. - have not been determined yet.

        Mostly, the violations are related to advertising during pre-campaign period or with the display during campaign of billboards not previously authorized by the National Electoral Council. There are also some reports on the removal of campaign spots by the CNE. The institution ordered the suspension of some spots, explaining that they violated the principle of equality in the competition or regulations on the authorized content of the messages. Additionally, the authorities also sanctioned one presidential candidate for distributing gifts during campaign with a fine of 3180 dollars (USD).

        Corporación Participación Ciudadana elaborated monitoring documents on use of the media by candidates during the 2013 campaign. According to its final report, two of the candidates exceeded the authorized amount in advertising. The 2013 Electoral Promotion Fund allocated, for presidential tickets, a maximum amount of 699,988 dollars. The report by Corporación Participación Ciudadana estimated a total expenditure in radio and television advertising of 1,021,505 for incumbent Rafael Correa, and 773,961 dollars for opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.

        Regarding non-electoral funds, the Office of the Comptroller General has found grounds for penal responsibility in the case of three parties due to a wrongful use of public funding. These violations are related to the Permanent Party Fund granted to political organizations during 2011. Authorities just made public declarations on the audit of these funds on July 2014. However, a public official from the Office of the Comptroller General pointed that a final report has not yet been approved but organizations are in process of being prosecuted. She also pointed that the National Electoral Council has not sent any file to the General Comptroller on potential abuse of pubic resources during the 2013 campaign yet.

        With regards to the sectional elections celebrated in February 2014, the National Electoral Council has already sanctioned 134 financial managers that failed to present the obligatory reports in due date.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Report on the use of Electoral Promotion Fund Corporación Participación Ciudadana Published online on February 22nd, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/informefranjasfinal.pdf

        NEC has detected 300 pre-campaign billboards across the country CNE ha detectado 300 vallas con publicidad electoral anticipada en todo el país Ecuador Inmediato January 2nd, 2013 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=188434&umt=cnehadetectado300vallasconpublicidadelectoralanticipadaentodoelpaeds

        NEC removes billboards by PAIS and Avanza CNE retira vallas de PAIS y Avanza La Hora February 8th, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101462760/-1/CNEretir%C3%B3vallasdePAISyAvanza.html#.U-mOr4BdXMb

        Elections: NEC decided on six matters related to control and electoral spending (Elecciones: CNE resolvió seis temas sobre control y gasto electoral) La Hora January 23rd, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101455469/-1/Elecciones%3ACNEresolvi%C3%B3seistemassobrecontrolygasto_electoral.html#.U-u354CSzMY

        EDST sanctions candidate Álvaro Noboa for distributing gifts (TCE sanciona a candidato Álvaro Noboa por entregar dádivas) El Universo Febrary 5th, 2013 http://www.eluniverso.com/2013/02/05/1/1355/tce-sanciona-candidato-alvaro-noboa-entregar-dadivas.html

        Pre-campaign infractions 2013 Infracciones campaña anticipada 2013 December 17th, 2013 Ecuavisa http://direct.ecuavisa.com/articulo/noticias/nacional/48892-guayas-gasta-casi-240-mil-dolares-campana-electoral-anticipada http://www.ecuavisa.com/sites/ecuavisa.com/files/documentos/2013/12/infraccionescampanaanticipada_2013.pdf

        Ecuador: investigations on the use of electoral funds Investigan en Ecuador uso de fondos de campaña electoral América Economía August 22nd, 2013 http://www.americaeconomia.com/politica-sociedad/politica/investigan-en-ecuador-uso-de-fondos-de-campana-electoral-para-un-tratamie

        NEC sanctions 134 financial managers of political movements and parties (CNE sanciona a 134 responsables del manejo económico de movimientos y partidos políticos) July 28th, 2014 El Comercio http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/campanaelectoral-cne-partidospoliticos-movimientospoliticos-sancion.html

        The Office of the Comptroller General points at four parties for wrongful use of funds (Contraloría señala a cuatro partidos por mal uso de fondos) El Telégrafo April 14th, 2014 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/politica/item/contraloria-senala-a-cuatro-partidos-por-mal-uso-de-fondos.html

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Yolanda Velasco Director of Responsibilities Office of the General Comptroller August 6th, 2014

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        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        At least one documented incident of vote buying was reported and sanctioned during the last national election.

        The National Electoral Council issued a resolution on January 2013 urging presidential candidate Álvaro Noboa (Partido Renovador Institucional Acción Nacional) to comply with the law and refrain from distributing gifts during electoral campaign. The case was then referred to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, which through a sentence issued at the beginning of February 2013 imposed a sanction of 3,180 dollars (USD) (equivalent to ten basic monthly salaries) to Noboa. Additionally, the Court called for the National Electoral Council to quantify the value of the gifts distributed and assign the corresponding amount as part of the candidate's electoral expenditure.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. To build on the researcher's comment, it's important to note that NGO Fundamedios reported that Noba distributed work equipment for artisans, peasants, and small business owners.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-15-22-1-2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf

        Electoral Dispute Settlement Court – Sentence 017-13-050213 February 4th, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a91c73_SENTENCIA-017-13-050213.pdf

        EDST sanctions candidate Álvaro Noboa for distributing gifts (TCE sanciona a candidato Álvaro Noboa por entregar dádivas) El Universo Febrary 5th, 2013 http://www.eluniverso.com/2013/02/05/1/1355/tce-sanciona-candidato-alvaro-noboa-entregar-dadivas.html

        Interviews Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court July 25th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: NGO Fundamedios report, Electoral Incidents January 8, 2013 http://www.fundamedios.org/sites/default/files/archivos/incidentes_electorales.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Regarding the last national election, no civic society organization has used what would be considered strictly officially published financial information as part of their research or reports. The main reason for the absence of these data on on their awareness campaigns or advocacy is the fact that this information is not made available neither through the National Electoral Council, nor through political organizations themselves.

        Members of two civic society organizations interviewed agreed on the fact that political organizations are not totally open with their financial information. Regarding the National Electoral Council, they said that financial reports are not published and information is only partially available. They pointed the fact that the process of oversight takes a long time after elections, which makes monitoring much more difficult and less effective.

        One of the only organizations that directly work with these matters is Corporación Participación Ciudadana. They have participated as national electoral observers and even signed an agreement with the National Electoral Council to cooperate in monitoring elections. They also conduct regular independent monitoring on media coverage of political candidates. During campaign period, taking into account the allocation of the Electoral Promotion Fund authorized by the National Electoral Council – a kind of information that does become immediately public- they conclude that candidates comply with the regulations and issue their reports. This is actually a type of information that the media includes in their reporting, lacking that kind of data from official sources. Apart from requesting and sharing information on how the Council negotiates costs of electoral campaign advertising with media outcasts, however, the organization has not elaborated more detailed reports using officially published information on political finance related to the last national election.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Report on the use of Electoral Promotion Fund Corporación Participación Ciudadana Published online on February 22nd, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/informefranjasfinal.pdf

        PAIS and SUMA ahead in electoral spending (PAIS y SUMA lideran el gasto electoral) Decisión Ecuador February 1st, 2013 http://decisionecuador.graficosnacionales.com/noticias/pais-y-suma-lideran-gasto-electoral.html

        Interviews Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

        Anonymous Ecuadorian journalist and international correspondent Correspondent for media in Great Britain and Spain, Member of the Forum of Journalists (FOPE) July 15th, 2014

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        Ecuador has had a history of constant constitutional and legal reforms. Since the return of democracy in 1978 the country has promulgated three Constitutions, in 1978, 1998 and 2008. The last decade has been marked by the approval of the Constitution of Montecristi (2008), which was the main expression of a major political change promoted by then president Rafael Correa, who had been elected in 2006, as part of what he and his movement Alianza País called the Citizens' Revolution. The tendency towards constant reform has affected electoral rules in general and political finance regulations in particular.

        Before the Constitutional change in 2008, the main laws that regulated political finance were: the Law of Political Parties (2000), the Organic Electoral Law (2000) and the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda (2000). These regulations were the result of a broad legal reform that began with the new Constitution in 1998 and became particularly relevant after the premature interruption of Jamil Mahuad's presidency in January 2000. After a deep economic crises that led to the dollarization of the economy, and the massive demonstrations that had the CONAIE (National Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) as their main protagonist, with the support of a faction of the Armed Forces, the president was deposed and left the country.

        Some regulations on political finance were also included in the Organic Law for the Exercise of Rights by Ecuadorians Living Abroad (2002), which established the legal framework of the elections held in the special foreign districts.

        The laws approved in 2000, specially the the Law of Political Parties and the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda, set the basis of the legal framework that, with many reforms, is currently in force. The Law of Political Parties (which was initially drafted in 1978 but underwent a major reform in 2000) established the right of parties to receive private and public funding (Art. 57), and set limits to the private contributions, with emphasis on the ban on contributions by natural and legal persons who held public contracts (Art. 58). The violation of these restrictions led to monetary sanctions to contributors, as well as receptors.

        In a similar way to what happens today, public funding was structured in two categories, in turn organized in two respective Funds. The Permanent Party Fund was aimed at granting stable support for the regular functioning of political organizations (Art. 59). The main difference with respect to the current law is the mechanism of allocation: sixty percent was distributed equally among eligible parties and forty percent according to electoral performance.

        The second category of direct public funding was specifically designed for electoral periods. The State would create, every electoral year, a fund of the same amount of the Permanent Party Fund to be distributed by the Supreme Electoral Court among parties proportionally to electoral performance in the last multi-member national election (Art. 59). This is one of the most important differences with the current framework. Valid laws today do not grant direct public funding for electoral campaigns. Instead, they set an Electoral Promotion Fund that allows parties to hire advertising in television, radio, newspapers and billboards, all through a system managed by the National Electoral Council. Besides, the Electoral Promotion Fund is allocated to all organizations that registered for an election, depending on the number of lists they present for each elected office (each list receives the exact same amount).

        The Law of Political Parties mandated that the organization's treasure must keep accounts and documentation, open a special account to manage public funds, and present an annual report to the Supreme Electoral Court (Art. 62).

        This law did not have clearly defined rules on the oversight of the allocation and use of private and public resources, and in response to that absence of legislation, the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda was promulgated. The 1998 Constitution stated that the law would set limits for electoral expenditure and that political organizations would be accountable before the Supreme Electoral Court regarding the amount, origin and use of campaign resources (Art. 116). Most of the norms were aimed at regulating the use of funds during campaign periods and considerably less attention was paid to the regular financing of partisan activity.

        Expenditure limits were initially set as an absolute amount of one million dollars for presidential lists and 800,000 dollars for national assembly lists (Art. 10). The law established a mechanism to try to set some balance regarding the differences in districts' population: divide the total amount into the number of voters of the national registry and then multiply by the number of voters in each district. Besides the fact that the original amounts were considered by many as inadequate and far from the real estimated costs of electoral campaigns, some of the resulting amounts were so low that they did not reflect the basic reality of campaign expenses.

        In part as a response to these problems and the lack of serious sanctions after most candidates had exceeded the authorized amounts in the previous elections, in November 2003 the congressional Committee of Public Management was assigned with the task of elaborating a new law to regulate electoral expenditure. In January 2004, a little more than a year after the presidential elections held in October 2002 and eight months before the celebration of sub-national elections, the organization Corporación Participación Ciudadana presented a proposal to reform the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda, with the support of more than sixty thousand citizens. The reform was intended to set more realistic limits to electoral expenditure, total transparency with regards to the origin and use of resources during campaigns, and availability of information on main contributors and donors of each campaign before election day. The organization also proposed to include a sanction according to which candidates that exceeded the authorized limits by more than fifty percent would be considered responsible of an act of corruption and, in case of being elected, would be removed from office and banned from participating in elections during the following eight years. Additionally, their reform stipulated that public officials who used public resources in favor of their campaigns would be removed from office.

        Congressmen Ramiro Rivera and Segundo Serrano al presented reforms in the same line to those proposed by CPC. The Congress admitted the proposals and debated them, taking into account that to be valid for the sub-national elections to be held in October 2004, any reform must be passed before mid-July. Most of de debate among parties and members of the Congress were related to the need to increase expenditure limits. The Supreme Electoral Court repeatedly urged the Congress to pass the reforms but since no agreement had been reached by the beginning of July, the valid limits were announced by the judicial authority. Although the debates started in June and continued in July, the reforms were not passed during 2004 or 2005. It must be noted, incidentally, that after the first reports presented by the Committee of Public Management on the advance of these first debates, the legislative committee was criticized for not defining more severe sanctions and for assigning most of the responsibilities to financial managers instead of candidates or organizations.

        In 2005, Ecuador underwent a new episode of political instability. Massive protests led by middle-class citizens and with support of certain factions of the military took place between February and April in Quito, which were later known as the “Rebellion of the Forajidos”. These social demonstrations ended with the overthrown of President Lucio Gutiérrez and the designation of Alfredo Palacio to the Executive. Once again, this episodes generated many political reforms, including pending discussions about regulations on political finance.

        The congressional debates to reform the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda resumed in January 2006, an electoral year, and the reform was finally passed on March. Presidential elections were held on October, under the new legal framework.

        In terms of electoral expenditure, the new reform set the following limits for presidential and national legislative lists: the amount resulting of the multiplication of 0.30 dollars for the number of voters in the national and the provincial electoral roll, respectively. Special considerations were taken with the province of Galapagos due to its geographical particularities, allowing and additional twenty percent of the authorized expenditure (Art. 3). In addition to this expected and demanded reform, the new legislation also sought to enhance transparency by mandating that the Control and Electoral Propaganda Unit must publish all financial information on internet during and after campaign (Art. 1). Besides, media outcasts and advertising agencies must report daily on all services they had provided as campaign advertising (Art. 9). The figure of the treasurer (today called financial manager) was consolidated as the only responsible of managing all campaign resources through an exclusive bank account opened for the campaign (Art. 5). This mechanism was reproduced in the Code of Democracy, currently in force. However, in contrast to current legislation, this law stipulated that candidates must present their own campaign accounting reports (Art. 6).

        The law prohibited the granting of free air time and advertising to candidates or organizations in the media (Art. 4), and stipulated that, in order to democratize electoral campaigns and access to the media, the State would fund equal advertising spaces dedicated exclusively to the dissemination of presidential candidates' plans and programatic proposals (Art. 10).

        Most of these reforms were also considered when, after the promulgation of the Montecristi Constitution in 2008, the newly established National Assembly began debating a new electoral legal framework, as mandated by the Constitution in its first transitory disposition. The 2008 Constitution, in its Transition Regime, already set some new rules of political finance for the general elections that would take place in 2009. The expenditure limits for presidential and national legislative were reduced to the amount resulting of the multiplication of 0.15 dollars for the number of voters in the national and the provincial electoral roll, respectively (Art. 12). The State, through the National Electoral Council's budget, would exclusively fund advertising campaign in television, radio, newspapers and billboards (Art. 13), and it was prohibited for candidates to privately hire these services (Art. 14). The Transition Regime also included the prohibition to distribute gifts during campaign and, for public officials, to use public resources or propaganda with electoral purposes. Very similar rules were included in the new law that was finally passed by the Assembly.

        On April 9th 2009, the National Assembly passed the Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD). This new law integrated the regulations formerly contained in the Law of Political Parties (2000), the Organic Electoral Law (2000) and the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda (2000), all of which were thus derogated.

        Since its coming into force, the Code of Democracy has suffered four different reforms in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 (although this last change did not directly affect public finance). The 2010 reform was aimed at addressing the process of registration and re-registration of political organizations after the new Constitution and the 2009 elections and the mechanism for allocating the Permanent Party Fund. One of the requisites for the permanence of the organizations in the official registry managed by the National Electoral Council was to obtain certain percentage of votes in two consecutive multi-member national elections. Since by the time just one election had been celebrated after the promulgation of the new law, it was established that until the next election was held, the criteria of electoral performance would just apply to the 2009 election. Besides, in order to expand the right to receive direct public funding, in the article that stipulated the eligibility criteria, the expression “political parties” was replaced by “political organizations”, thus including political movements registered by the National Electoral Council.

        Changes in 2011 were introduced in view of the celebration of a referendum and a popular consultation that year. It was established that campaigns for revocation of mandates would not receive public funding and that the same expenditure limits set for elections would apply to those processes. The reform included a ban on the use of public resources and a call from the National Electoral Council to media outcasts to grant air time in an equal fashion and promote debate between proponents and opponents to the revocation. It also established the obligation, during referendum, popular consultation or mandate revocation, for political actors supporting the different campaigns to nominate a financial manager.

        The 2012 reforms, passed in February, were undoubtedly the most significant and controversial so far. Firstly, because the National Electoral Council decided to change the electoral calendar so that the reforms could come into force for the 2013 elections. The elections were supposed to take place in January 2013, but since according to the Constitution no reforms to electoral laws can be passed the year prior to an electoral process, the Council called the election for February 17th.

        Article 203 of the COD regulates the exceptions to the ban on advertising or propaganda by public institutions at all levels of government during elections. The reform passed in 2012, sponsored mainly by legislators of Alianza País, added some exceptions to the restrictions on the use of public resources. Alianza País, party of the president, holds 100 of the 137 seats in the Assembly. Due to the controversy brought by the reform (especially the exception in Art. 203 regarding information about projects and programs), the Constitutional Court issued a resolution ratifying the constitutionality of the reform and, therefore, of the exceptions included (Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 28). This article was subject to major criticism because it not only broadened the possibility of official propaganda during campaign but also established drastic limits to media coverage during campaign and elections. Two reforms that specifically addressed Art. 203 were presented to the Assembly but they were both dismissed.

        According to the information available on the National Assembly's website, as of today, six proposals of reform to the Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy are being considered but have not yet been debated. None of them, however, refer specifically to political finance.

        Finally, it is worth mentioning that after the 2014 sub-national elections, the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court have joined efforts and created an inter-institutional committee to analyze a comprehensive reform of the law. Special workshops are planned to debate on the main challenges that the electoral experiences of 2013 and 2014 have presented to the electoral authorities. The goal is to elaborate a Project for the Reform of the Code of Democracy to be presented to the National Assembly around September 2014, which will address the need of clearer mechanisms of control of campaign expenditure.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Reform to the Organic Law for the Control of Electoral Expenditure and Electoral Propaganda Arts. 1, 3-6, 9-14. 2006. http://www.oas.org/es/sap/deco/moe/ecuador2007/docs/marco%20legal/Ecuador-Ley%20Organica%20Reformatoria%20de%20Control%20de%20Gasto%20Electoral.pdf

        Reform to the Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) 2010 http://www.derechoecuador.com/productos/producto/catalogo/registros-oficiales/2010/diciembre/code/19785/registro-oficial-no-352---jueves-30-de-diciembre-de-2010-segundo-suplemento

        Reform to the Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) 2011 http://www.derechoecuador.com/productos/producto/catalogo/registros-oficiales/2011/mayo/code/19908/registro-oficial-no-445---miercoles-11-de-mayo-de-2011

        Reform to the Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) 2012 http://www.tce.gob.ec/jml/bajar/transparencia/REFORMA-CODIGO-DEMOCRACIA.pdf

        Decision to dismiss proposals to reform Art. 203 National Assembly – Votes in Plenary Session July 23rd, 2013

        Goodbye parties, welcome caudillos (Adiós partidos, bienvenidos caudillos) Simón Pachano Latin American Review of Comparative Politics (No. 8) Published by the Latin American Center of Political Studies, CELAEP July, 2014 http://issuu.com/celaep/docs/vol8revistalat.depolitica_com

        Political Parties finance in Ecuador (Financiamiento de los partidos políticos en Ecuador) Simón Pachano In Financiamiento de los partidos políticos en América Latina. México, D.F. : IDEA Internacional, OEA , UNAM. 2011 Law for the oversight of electoral expenditure will be presented (Presentarán ley de control del gasto electoral) La Hora February 9th, 2004 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1000225094/-1/Presentar%C3%A1nleydecontroldegastoelectoral.html#.U-3dobySzMY

        Congress decides changes to the Law of Electoral Expenditure Congreso decide cambios a la Ley de gasto Electoral Diario Hoy February 14th, 2004 http://www.explored.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/congreso-decide-cambios-a-ley-de-gasto-electoral-167528.html

        Congress will present report on reforms to the Law of Electoral Expenditure Congreso presentará informe sobre reforma a Ley de Gasto Electoral La Hora May 8th, 2004 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1000245316/-1/Congresopresentar%C3%A1informesobrereformaaLeydeGasto_Electoral.html#.U-3kzrySzMY

        Congress has 15 days to pass Law of Expenditure Congreso, con 15 días para aprobar la Ley de Gasto Diario Hoy June 16th, 2004 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/congreso-con-15-dias-para-aprobar-la-ley-de-gasto-178158.html

        SEC announces today expenditure limits for sub-national elections TSE anuncia hoy montos de gasto electoral para comicios seccionales El Universo July 2nd, 2004 http://www.eluniverso.com/2004/07/02/0001/8/FFDFC955610E48AEBDC11D2CEF03F107.html

        Participación Ciudadana questions reforms to the Law of Expenditure Participación Ciudadana cuestiona reformas a la Ley de Gasto Diario Hoy July 7th, 2004 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/participacion-ciudadana-cuestiona-reformas-a-ley-de-gasto-180163.html

        Committee of Public Management continues to analyze reforms to Law of Electoral Expenditure Comisión de Gestión Pública sigue análisis de reforma a Ley de Gasto Electoral Ecuador Inmediato February 1st, 2006 http://ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=28454&umt=comisiongestionpublicasigueanalisisreformaaleygasto_electoral

        Pro-government maority reforms Code of Democracy Mayoría oficialista reforma el Código de la Democracia La República December 28th, 2011 http://www.larepublica.ec/blog/politica/2011/12/28/asamblea-debatira-reformas-al-metodo-de-adjudicacion-de-escanos/

        Reforms: serious setback Reformas: grave retroceso Diario Hoy February 12th, 2012 http://www.explored.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/reformas-grave-retroceso-534734.html

        Electoral Expenditure set at 2,7 million En 2,7 millones se fijó el gasto electoral Diario Hoy February 22nd, 2006 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/en-2-7-millones-se-fijo-el-gasto-electoral-227610.html

        Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 28 – Sentence 028-12-SIN-CC (Resolución de la Corte Constitucional No. 28 – Sentencia 028-12-SIN-CC) 2012 http://casos.corteconstitucional.gob.ec:8080/busqueda/pdf2.php?fc=http://doc.corteconstitucional.gob.ec:8080/alfresco/d/d/workspace/SpacesStore/9a56d766-3e4a-45db-bce3-a0f9f05a4613/sentenciapart1.pdf?guest=true

        Constant changes to the Code of Democracy Continuos cambios al Código de la Democracia Isabella Romero Poderes – Inteligencia Política November 11th, 2013 http://poderes.com.ec/2013/desarrollo-del-codigo-de-la-democracia/

        CNE prepares amendments to the Code of Democracy Ecuador Times July 24th, 2014 http://www.ecuadortimes.net/2014/07/24/cne-prepares-amendments-code-democracy/

        'We must guarantee a better control of campaign expenditure' “Debemos garantizar un mejor control en gastos de campaña” El Telégrafo August 1st, 2014 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/politica/item/debemos-garantizar-un-mejor-control-en-gastos-de-campana.html

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    100
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        Score
        YES
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        According to Ecuadorian law, all third party actors are not allowed to engage in any partisan political activities, which includes campaigning. Taking this into account, during electoral campaigns, donations by companies, unions, foundations, etc., as well as independent expenditures or activities with a partisan bent, are forbidden.

        In June 2013, President Correa issued an executive decree approving the Rules for the implementation of the Unified System of Information on Social and Civic Organizations (SUIOS). This regulation applies to non profit organizations as corporations, foundations, foreign and national social organizations, and organizations of social management and control, constituted by State institutions (Arts. 4 and 5). According to these rules, organizations must organize, systematize and keep all documentation and information generated during their organizational activities and, as subjects to control and oversight, they are obliged to provide financial reports (Art. 40). They are also obliged to register at the SUIOS website, during the last trimester every year, the information on project funded with foreign contributions, including the source of funding and the progress of the project (Art. 7). This regulation includes as grounds for dissolution of an organization the act of participating in partisan political activities reserved to parties and movements registered at the National Electoral Council, or the interference in public policies that threaten the internal and external security of the State or affect public peace (Art. 26).

        Members of third party actors confirm that the law restricts them from partisan campaign activities.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 18. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Rules for the implementation of the Unified System of Information on Social and Civic Organizations (Regalmento para el funcionamiento del Sistema Unificado de Información de las Organizaciones Sociales y Ciudadanas (SUIOS)) Approved by Executive Decree No. 16 – June 4th, 2013 Published online on June 13th, 2013 Arts. 3, 4, 5, 7, 26, 40. http://guiaosc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DecretoEjecutivo16.pdf

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        35
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        There is no evidence to suggest that third party actors engage in campaign activities, as they are prohibited from doing so in law. Thus, third-party actors are not obliged to present their financial information to an electoral oversight authority. They are, however, subject to the Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information, which mandates that organizations that receive public funds must provide all requested information. Despite this, detailed reports on their financial information is not always easily accessible.

        The Executive Decree 16 approved in 2013, establishes a legal framework for civic society organizations through the implementation of the Unified System of Information on Social and Civic Organizations (SUIOS, in Spanish). According to these rules, organizations, as subjects to control and oversight, are obliged to provide financial reports and to register at the SUIOS website, during the last trimester every year, the information on project funded with foreign contributions, including the source of funding and the progress of the project. However, the information which organizations are supposed to register into the SUIOS is not yet available to the public. The system was meant to be working by June 20th 2014 but in a recent decree the President has given six additional months for organizations to update and register their information.

        Some organizations have openly rejected this new regulations and Fundamedios, an organization that advocates for freedom of expression, has refused to present financial information requested by the authorities.

        Using three very important organizations such as Corporación Participación Ciudadana, Grupo Faro and Fundamedios, as an example,it must be said they do not necessarily make their financial information available on their websites in a similar way. Fundamedios includes an statement in which they declare that they receive funds from civil society organizations, international institutions, the private sector and individuals committed to human rights and democracy. However, their transparency section does not include a detailed financial report. Corporación Participación Ciudadana only includes a list of their main donors, which are almost all foreign agencies and organizations, but there is not exhaustive information on amounts, origins and use of the funds. On the other hand, Grupo Faro, which is also funded by renown international agencies and organizations, includes detailed information on their institutional budget and on annual audits for they financial movements corresponding to 2012 and 2013. The information can be downloaded for free in .pdf format.

        In sum, some financial information of third party actors is reported, but not from the electoral authority, as third party actors cannot and do not engage in partisan political activities.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Before the regulations commented on above were in force there was some evidence of third party actors contributing to political campaigns, at least indirectly. A case in point is the National Union of Educators (UNE), the political base of the recently extinguished political party Democratic Popular Movement (MPD). La Hora reported in 2006 that UNE's president was planning to auction a house financed with UNE's resources in order to finance her political campaign as legislator with MPD. In 2007, El Universo newspaper reported that the electoral authorities were investigating electoral publicity paid for by UNE sponsoring MPD's candidates. As of 2014, there is no clear evidence that third party actors are circumventing the legal prohibition to finance political campaigns that is now in place. This situation is likely the result of both tighter and more centralized control on NGO's financial reporting and the restrictions imposed by electoral legislation.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Grupo Faro – Institutional Budget (2013) No publication date is available http://www.grupofaro.org/content/presupuesto-institucional

        Grupo Faro - Annual Audit Report (2012 and 2013) April 14th, 2014 http://www.grupofaro.org/sites/default/files/recursos/archivos/2014/2014-05-22/informegrupofaro_31-12-2013-pdf.pdf

        Transparency Section on Fundamedios Website http://www.fundamedios.org/transparencia

        List of Donors – Financing on Corporación Participación Ciudadana Website http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/

        SECOM will monitor NGO Corporación Ciudadana (SECOM regulará ONG Corporación Ciudadana) El Universo February 14th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/02/14/nota/2183946/secom-regulara-ong-corporacion-participacion-ciudadana

        Anonymous Former Member of Faro Group - Sustainable Development Consultant - August 14th, 2014

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

        Reviewer's sources: En PAÍS y MPD no hubo descalificados El Universo September 28, 2006 http://www.eluniverso.com/2007/09/28/0001/8/B1ECCEF4DAD54C5D9A4A503EA928B9A0.html

        UNE rifa casa para financiar una diputación La Hora March 27, 2007 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/409601/-1/UNErifacasaparafinanciarunadiputación.html#.VCN04FY06FI

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        36
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Since third-party actors such as NGOs, think-tanks, unions or foundations are not allowed to contribute to electoral campaigns or to engage in partisan campaign activities, they are not obliged to present their financial information on these terms. They are, however, subject to the Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information, which mandates that organizations that receive public funds must provide all requested information. Despite this, detailed reports on their financial information is not always easily accessible. There is no evidence that third party actors have engaged in political activities during the study period.

        The Executive Decree 16 approved in 2013, establishes a legal framework for civic society organizations through the implementation of the Unified System of Information on Social and Civic Organizations (SUIOS, in Spanish). This regulation applies to non profit organizations as corporations, foundations, foreign and national social organizations, and organizations of social management and control, constituted by State institutions. According to these rules, organizations must organize, systematize and keep all documentation and information generated during their organizational activities and, as subjects to control and oversight, they are obliged to provide financial reports. They are also obliged to register at the SUIOS website, during the last trimester every year, the information on project funded with foreign contributions, including the source of funding and the progress of the project. However, the information which organizations are supposed to register into the SUIOS is not yet available to the public. The system was meant to be working by June 20th 2014 but in a recent decree the President has given six additional months for organizations to update and register their information.

        Recently, the responsibility to monitor social organizations was transferred to the Secretary if Communication. Important and renowned organizations as Fundamedios, that advocates for freedom of expression, and Corporación Participación Ciudadana, publicly complained about and rejected this change of authority, seeing it as a tightening of the control that the government exerts on institutions. Fundamedios even refused to present financial information requested by the Secretary on January 2014.

        Regarding three very important organizations such as Corporación Participación Ciudadana, Grupo Faro and Fundamedios, they do not necessarily make their financial information available on their websites in a similar way. Fundamedios includes an statement in which they declare that they receive funds from civil society organizations, international institutions, the private sector and individuals committed to human rights and democracy. They state that they select their donors in order to not compromise their independency and autonomy. However, their transparency section does not include a detailed financial report. Corporación Participación Ciudadana only includes a list of their main donors, which are almost all foreign agencies and organizations, but there is not exhaustive information on amounts, origins and use of the funds. On the other hand, Grupo Faro, which is also funded by renown international agencies and organizations, includes detailed information on their institutional budget and on annual audits for they financial movements corresponding to 2012 and 2013. The information can be downloaded for free in .pdf format.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Fundamedios fails complaint against Decree 16 Fundamedios presenta acción de protección contra Decreto 16 Agust 8th, 2013 http://www.ecuadorenvivo.com/politica/24-politica/2882-fundamedios-presenta-accion-de-proteccion-contra-decreto-ejecutivo-n-16-por-considerar-que-restringe-el-trabajo-de-la-sociedad-civil.html

        SECOM will monitor NGO Corporación Ciudadana (SECOM regulará ONG Corporación Ciudadana) El Universo February 14th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/02/14/nota/2183946/secom-regulara-ong-corporacion-participacion-ciudadana

        Changes to Decree 16 to allow organizations to register before the State (Cambios a Decreto 16 para que organizaciones sociales se registren ante el Estado) El Universo June 17th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/06/17/nota/3115161/cambios-decreto-16-que-organizaciones-sociales-se-registren-ante

        Grupo Faro – Institutional Budget (2013) No publication date is available http://www.grupofaro.org/content/presupuesto-institucional

        Grupo Faro - Annual Audit Report (2012 and 2013) April 14th, 2014 http://www.grupofaro.org/sites/default/files/recursos/archivos/2014/2014-05-22/informegrupofaro_31-12-2013-pdf.pdf

        Transparency Section on Fundamedios Website http://www.fundamedios.org/transparencia

        List of Donors – Financing on Corporación Participación Ciudadana Website http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/

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        --
        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        The Executive Decree 16 approved in 2013, establishes a legal framework for civic society organizations through the implementation of the Unified System of Information on Social and Civic Organizations (SUIOS, in Spanish). This regulation applies to non profit organizations as corporations, foundations, foreign and national social organizations and organizations of social management and control, constituted by State institutions. According to these rules, organizations must register at the SUIOS website, during the last trimester every year, the information on projects funded with foreign contributions, including the source of funding and the progress of the project. This regulation, which was announced as a means to make organizations more transparent, was considered an instrument of tight control of the organizations by the government. It includes as grounds for dissolution of an organization the act of participating in partisan political activities reserved to parties and movements registered at the National Electoral Council, or the interference in public policies that threaten the internal and external security of the State or affect public peace. This restrains the margin of action that organizations have in the political sphere.

        Besides, the law does not allow legal persons to contribute to electoral campaigns either directly or indirectly, which means that the aforementioned organizations, as well as corporations and unions, are excluded as donors or contributors during campaign period. In addition, the law includes several regulations that limit the amount that natural persons or candidate can contribute to the campaign, making indirect public funding the main source of resources for political organizations during electoral competition.

        According to the opinion of journalists and scholars, unions do not have much influence in electoral campaigns since they have lost relevance in the political scene of the country. In the case of social organizations and foundations the new regulations restrict their capacity to directly influence political activity since it is established as grounds for dissolution of an organization the act of participating in partisan political activities reserved to parties and movements registered at the National Electoral Council, or the interference in public policies that threaten the internal and external security of the State or affect public peace. Formal complaints have been filed arguing that such a restriction can be very broadly interpreted and thus contradict and violate the fundamental right of freedom of expression. A group of civil organizations and unions joined forces and presented a publication that analyses the first year of the new regulations and emphasize on the idea that this legal framework excessively limits their role in political participation and control.

        Corporación Participación Ciudadana, on the other hand, although not economically, exerts some influence during the campaign as a monitoring watchdog. They have participated as national electoral observers and even signed an agreement with the National Electoral Council to cooperate in monitoring elections. They conduct a regular independent monitoring on media coverage of political candidates. During campaign period, taking into account the allocation of the Electoral Promotion Fund authorized by the National Electoral Council they monitor that candidates comply with the regulations and make their reports available for free online. Organizations as Fundamedios, Forum of Journalists or Grupo Faro try to influence political decisions and campaigns through their awareness work on the effect of changing legislation, especially related to freedom of expression and association.

        In addition to this, it must be noted that after the reforms to the Code of Democracy approved on 2012 the media has a very small margin of action with regards to news reporting during electoral campaign. Journalists agree that self-censorship is common and that the legislation has favored a rather shallow coverage of events during campaign. This, in turn, limits the capacity of social organizations to disseminate their messages or awareness work.

        With respect to corporations or companies, José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, pointed that during the examination of campaign accounting reports, the National Electoral Council had found cases of companies that would make small donations of similar amount on behalf of their employees, to disguise the contributions as made by individuals, without previously consulting with them.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. According to the opinion of journalists and scholars, unions do not have much influence in electoral campaigns since they have lost relevance in the political scene of the country. The most salient case of a union operating in the political arena was the National Teacher's Union (UNE) and its affiliation with the now extinct Popular Democratic Movement (MPD). In Ecuador, a small percentage of the workforce is unionized, which is a contributing factor to its lack of political influence.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Fundamedios fails complaint against Decree 16 Fundamedios presenta acción de protección contra Decreto 16 Agust 8th, 2013 http://www.ecuadorenvivo.com/politica/24-politica/2882-fundamedios-presenta-accion-de-proteccion-contra-decreto-ejecutivo-n-16-por-considerar-que-restringe-el-trabajo-de-la-sociedad-civil.html

        Ecuador emphasizes controversial control over NGOs and external financial aid (Ecuador extrema polémico control sobre ONGs y ayuda financiera externa) El Universo December 19th, 2013 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2013/12/19/nota/1936976/ecuador-extrema-polemico-control-sobre-ongs-ayuda-financiera

        Social groups join forces against Decree 16 Los grupos sociales se unen contra el Decreto 16 El Comercio July 25th, 2014 http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/grupos-sociales-decreto16-asociacion.html

        Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Simon Pachano University professor September 23, 2014

        En PAÍS y MPD no hubo descalificados El Universo September 28, 2006 http://www.eluniverso.com/2007/09/28/0001/8/B1ECCEF4DAD54C5D9A4A503EA928B9A0.html

        UNE rifa casa para financiar una diputación La Hora March 27, 2007 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/409601/-1/UNErifacasaparafinanciarunadiputación.html#.VCN04FY06FI

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    71
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        38
        Score
        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador establishes, together with the traditional Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch, an Electoral Branch of Government. This Branch shall be comprised of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, and both institutions shall have national jurisdiction, administrative, financial, and organizational autonomy, and shall be governed by the principles of autonomy and independence” (Art. 217). The National Electoral Council will determine its internal organization and draw up and implement its budget.

        The Constitution stipulates that the National Electoral Council, as part of its duties, must “control electoral campaign advertising and spending”, and oversee and rule "on accounts submitted by political organizations and candidates”. Besides, the institution will “implement, administer and control State funding of electoral campaigns and the fund for political organizations” (Art. 219). The Code of Democracy (COD) emphasizes these duties, although there is a small change in the wording. According to the law, the National Electoral Council shall oversee and rule on accounting reports “presented by political organizations and financial managers” and, when pertinent, shall refer the files to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (Art. 25 and Art. 211). The electoral bodies have exclusive competence, within their respective areas, to rule on all matters concerning the application of the electoral law (Art. 23).

        Furthermore, the Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial specify that the examination of electoral campaign funds, including amount, origin and use of resources for electoral propaganda and expenditure, is exclusive competence of the National Electoral Council (Art. 41). To carry out this duty, the law authorizes the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court to request relevant information to monitor the amount, origin and use of campaign funds from any public or private organization. No data shall be denied arguing bank secrecy or any other restriction. Information shall be provided within eight days upon request; otherwise, the National Electoral Council will sanction the legal representative or the official responsible of providing it (Art. 213, COD).

        Organizations must keep their accounting records during the whole electoral process and until five years after the respective ruling has been issued. These records can be examined at any point by the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (Art. 229, COD). If, during the oversight process, electoral authorities find signs of violation of electoral regulations, they shall conduct immediate special audits. The cost of these investigations will be covered by the individuals that, after ruling, have been declared responsible of violations (Art. 235, COD). The Electoral Council can also freeze the electoral bank account of political actors that exceed expenditure limits established by law (Art. 295, COD).

        The duties assigned to the National Electoral Council are not restricted to campaign period. It is also exclusive competence of the institution to monitor the regular economic and financial activity of political parties (Art. 366, COD), and it is authorized to oversee all donations made in favor of political parties and movements (Art. 360, COD). The National Electoral Council Political will examine annual financial reports presented by organizations that receive direct public funding and can require audis to the Office of the Comptroller General (Contraloría General del Estado) (Art. 362, COD).

        Arts. 374-376 of the COD mention some of the sanctions that the National Electoral Council can impose sanctions on political organizations that do not comply with the regulations on political finance.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 217, 219. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts., 23, 25, 211, 213, 229, 235, 295, 360, 362, 366, 374-376. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014) Art. 41. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

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        YES
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        According to the Constitution, “The members of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court shall be designated by the Council for Public Participation and Social Control, after selection by a competitive and merit-based examination, with candidacies submitted by the citizenry and citizen right to challenge (impugnación)” (Art. 224). Art. 209 states that in order to perform this duty, the Council for Public Participation and Social Control shall organize citizen selection committees, which shall be in charge of conducting the public competitive and merit-based examination, with public vetting. These committees shall be comprised of one delegate from each branch of government and an identical number of representatives for social organizations and the citizenry, chosen by public drawing of lots from among those applicants that meet the requirements provided for by the Council and the law. The candidates shall be subject to public scrutiny and citizen challenge. The commissions shall be directed by one of the representatives of the citizenry, who shall have the tie-breaking vote, and its sessions shall be open to the public (Art. 209).

        The Constitution also stipulates that the Council for Public Participation and Social Control shall choose the ones who obtain the highest score in the respective examination and shall report this to the National Assembly for the respective swearing in office. When dealing with the selection of collegiate bodies, the Council shall designate the standing members and alternates, in strict order, among those who obtain the highest scores in the examination. Alternates shall replace the standing members respecting the order of their qualification and designation and in case of a definite absence of a standing member, they will be replaced by the alternate with the highest scores (Art. 210).

        It must be noted that the bodies and agencies of the Electoral Branch are part of the public sector (Constitution, Art. 225) and therefore, their members are public servants (Organic Law of Public Service, Art. 3, and Code of Democracy, Art. 19). Taking this into account, they are subject to all the regulations that affect public servants, especially the Organic Law of Public Service.

        In terms of conflict of interest, the Constitution forbids public officials to “hold more than one public office at the same time, except in the case of university teaching” (Art. 230) and it states that “those who have vested interests in those areas that they shall be monitoring or regulating or who represent those who have these vested interests cannot be public officials or members of the board of directors of institutions that perform state control or regulatory powers. Public servants shall refrain from acting in those cases where their vested interests clash with those of the body or institution where they are providing their services” (Art. 232). Nepotism is also included among prohibitions affecting public officials (Art. 230, Constitution and Arts. 6-8, Organic Law of Public Service).

        In its art. 24, the Organic Law of Public Service defines some additional prohibitions. Public officials can not hold more than one public office or perform activities different from their public office duties during working hours, except those authorized to study or teach at universities. They can not establish direct or indirect partnerships, and commercial or financial relationships with contributors or contractors of any public institutions in those cases in which the public official, among their duties, is personally in charge of related matters. Finally the are banned from intervening, issuing reports, managing, or signing agreements or contracts with the government, themselves or through intermediaries, or obtain any benefit that implies privilege for themselves, their spouses or legal partners, or relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity. This prohibition also applies for corporations, societies or legal persons within which the public officials, their spouses or legal partners, or relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity have interests.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 209, 210, 224, 225. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles Constitution

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 19. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Organic Law of Public Service Art. 3, 6-8, and 24. 2010. http://www.ambato.gob.ec/registropropiedad/LEYORGANICADELSERVICIOPUBLICO.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        The current members of the National Electoral Council were designated by a Selection Committee organized by the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control in 2011. These five members were the first elected fully according to the new legal framework established by the 2008 Constitution and the 2009 Code of Democracy. Even though there was an advertised competition and there existed formal instances of public vetting process, some exceptions to the strict legal procedures were allowed and there were serious doubts that the selected candidates were actually free of conflicts of interest.

        The designation was the result of an advertised competition subject to a public vetting process. However, considerable controversy aroused during the selection, mainly because there were complaints about irregularities in the process and because the final five members selected had ties with the government.

        Several articles were published reporting that two members of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, Andrea Rivera y David Rosero, presented formal complaints stating that there were serious doubts regarding the objectivity and transparency of the process of merit assessment and scoring of candidates' examination. They manifested that information has not been provided in time and that there were problems with the computer system for the examination. During an interview, Rosero pointed that there were last minute changes in the regulation of the process and closed door decisions that could not be overseen by all members of the Council. He presented evidence that shows that members of the Selection Committee reported some unexpected last minute decisions that affected the process. Rivera and Rosero abstained from voting during the final round for the designation of the members of the National Electoral Council.

        During the examination there were ten contestations against the selected members, but none of them was admitted by the Selection Committee.

        In addition to this, it was repeatedly highlighted that the five standing members finally designated by the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control had very recently occupied positions in the Executive or had ties with the government, and were thus susceptible to conflicts of interest.

        Roxana Silva, current standing member of the National Electoral Council, mentioned that she had presented her application and participated in former examinations process to occupy the position and that she had not been duly informed on examinations dates and had trouble accessing all necessary information to fulfill all the steps of the process.

        Finally, it must be noted that, in terms of election of candidates, the law creates a sort of dependency between the National Electoral Council and the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, since each one is responsible for designating the other's members, which could harm the independence of the processes.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Candidates close to the government could get the main positions at the NCE (Allegados al gobierno podrían ocupar las vocalías del CNE) El Mercurio September 28th, 2011 http://www.elmercurio.com.ec/300431-allegados-al-gobierno-podrian-ocupar-las-vocalias-del-cne/#.U-xCGoCSzMY

        The government will have allies at the NEC (Gobierno tendrá aliados en el CNE) La Hora September 29th, 2011 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101212123/-1/Gobiernotendr%C3%A1aliadosenelCNE.html#.U-xAdICSzMY

        Citizen Participation Council received 10 contestations against candidates to NEC (Consejo de Participación Ciudadana recibió 10 impunaciones contra postulantes a CNE) http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=160696&umt=concejodeparticipacif3nciudadanarecibif310impugnacionescontrapostulantesacne

        The new members of the NEC are close to the government (Cercanos al gobierno los nuevos vocales del CNE) Diario Hoy November 16th, 2011 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/cercanos-al-gobierno-los-nuevos-vocales-del-cne-514673.html

        Interview with David Rosero – Member of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control Telamazonas October 7th, 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DRArVI9_ic

        Counselor David Rosero: Who assigned the scores to NEC cadidates' applications? (Consejero David Rosero: ¿Quién calificó carpetas para candidatos al CNE?) Ecuador Inmediato October 7th, 2011 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=159283&umt=consejerodavidroseroquiencalificocarpetasparacandidatosal_cne

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

        Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former Advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

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        MODERATE
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The Constitution stipulates that the National Electoral Council, as part of its duties, must “control electoral campaign advertising and spending”, and oversee and rule "on accounts submitted by political organizations and candidates”. Besides, the institution will “implement, administer and control the State funding of electoral campaigns and the fund for political organizations” (Art. 219). Additionally, the Council has a mandate to submit proposals for legislative initiatives on the scope of competence of the Electoral Branch, issue rules and regulations on matters under its jurisdiction, and to hear and resolve administrative contestations and complaints on the resolutions approved by deconcentrated bodies during electoral processes and to impose the corresponding sanctions (Art. 219).

        According to the Code of Democracy (COD) the electoral authorities have exclusive competence, within their respective areas, to rule on all matters concerning the application of the electoral law, and to apply sanctions to certain violations of electoral regulations (Art. 23 and 25, number 3). When pertinent, the Council shall refer the files to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (Art. 25 and Art. 211). The President of the National Electoral Council is authorized to present proposals on resolutions and agreements related to electoral activity, and to impose administrative sanctions on matters under their competence (Art. 32).

        In terms of tenure, the National Electoral Council is composed of five standing members, who shall hold a six-year term of office. The Council shall be partially renewed every three years, two members the first time, three the second time, and so forth (Art. 218, Constitution). According to the law, no member of the electoral institutions shall be deprived of their liberty or penally prosecuted, by any authority, during the exercise of their duties, without the authorization in plenary session of the National Electoral Council or the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court. An exception is considered in cases of flagrant crime, sexual crime, or domestic violence (Art. 17 and 19, COD).

        Regarding removal or disciplinary actions, the Ecuadorian legal framework allows procedures that are not conducted by a peer panel or an independent oversight authority, insofar it gives the National Assembly competence in these matters. The Constitution states that the members of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court shall be subject to impeachment for failure to perform their duties and fulfill their responsibilities as set in the Constitution and in the law (Art. 222). The National Assembly shall be able to file impeachment proceedings at the request of at least one fourth of its members, and for failure to perform the duties stipulated by the Constitution and the law, against the members of the National Electoral Council, the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, during the performance of their duties in office and up to one year after concluding their respective terms. It must be highlighted, however, that to proceed with their censure and removal, the favorable vote of a majority of two thirds of the National Assembly shall be required (Art. 131). The Legislative Branch shall not be able to appoint replacements for persons removed from office (Art. 222).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 131, 218, 219, 222. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 17, 19, 23, 25, 32, 211. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        Regarding the guarantees of the independence of high-level appointees, it must be said that they are granted security of tenure and, since the current members of the National Electoral Council took office, none of them has been removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body. And the process leading to the partial renovation of the institution mandated by law has already started. As part of the renewal process, a lottery will determine which two out of the four NEC committee members will leave their posts by the end of the year.

        During interviews with Víctor Hugo Ajila, legal advisor to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and former advisor to the National Electoral Council, and with Roxana Silva, Standing Member of the National Electoral Council, they confirmed that no member of the oversight institution has been subject to unfair disciplinary measures or discretional transfers or removal. Silva added that, as far as her duties are concerned, she has not feel any pressure or fear in her position. José Cisneros, Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, also insisted that he has performed the duties of his position with complete independence, despite some sporadic, irrelevant and unidentified threats.

        However, the media and scholars have reported some occasions in which the National Electoral Council showed bias in its decisions. Firstly, the law establishes that no electoral reform can be passed within one year of the next electoral process. National elections were supposed to be held in January 2013 but the National Electoral Council decided to change the electoral calendar so that the controversial reforms to the Code of Democracy approved in February 2012, and mainly promoted by the government, could come into force for the next electoral process. Victor Ajila also pointed that, against former decisions on the matter and against in force regulations, the National Electoral Council authorized an alliance between Alianza PAIS (the party in government) and Movimiento Pachakutik in one of the provinces. The national authorities of the Movement were in conflict with the provincial authorities because Pachakutik had adopted a critical position towards the government. While this conflict was still ongoing, the provincial section of the Movement, according to Ajila, should not have been allowed to form alliances with other national political organizations.

        News reports also highlight that complaints about abuse of public resources and infrastructure are rarely admitted by the National Electoral Council or the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and that this systematically benefits the party in government (this was also addressed in the report of the Electoral Monitoring Mission conducted by the OAS in 2013). It has been also pointed that in some cases, when violations of the norm affect the party in government, the National Electoral Council acts ex-officio to correct infractions, and that this behavior is not repeated when the infractions affect other parties, because in those situations the institution waits for (and even demands) a complaint or a report to be filed by the affected party.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It's important to note that the matter of autonomy in the revision of cases and adoption of decisions is not clear. Because NEC decisions have tended to favor the government, it is not possible to empirically asses the eventual impact that rulings that affected the government would have on the standing of NEC members. Another issue to consider is that having a seat with the electoral institutions has traditionally been a political appointment, and while the current the law aims at de-politicizing it, it is still not easy to conceive of such a position as something separate from political carreers.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        It was not good enough (No dio la talla) Thalía Flores Diario Hoy February 14th, 2013 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/no-dio-la-talla-574160.html

        Alianza PAIS and Pachakutik present cadidates (Alianza PAIS y Pachakutik presentan candidatos) November 20th, 2013 La Prensa http://www.laprensa.com.ec/interna.asp?id=2167#.U-xjSICSzMY

        NEC's independence is debated again in this campaign (La independencia del CNE vuelve al debate en esta campaña electoral) El Universo February 16th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/02/16/nota/2189416/independencia-cne-vuelve-debate-esta-campana-electoral

        Goodbye parties, welcome caudillos (Adiós partidos, bienvenidos caudillos) Simón Pachano Latin American Review of Comparative Politics (No. 8) Published by the Latin American Center of Political Studies, CELAEP July, 2014 http://issuu.com/celaep/docs/vol8revistalat.depolitica_com

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former Advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        According to article 218 of the Constitution, the National Electoral Council is composed of five standing members, who shall hold a six-year term of office. The Council shall be partially renewed every three years, two members the first time, three the second time, and so forth. There shall be five alternate council persons who shall be renewed using the same mechanism as the one for the standing members. The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be elected from among its standing members, shall hold a three-year term of office and can be re-elected for only one additional term (Art. 24 Code of Democracy - COD). To be a member of the National Electoral Council, one must be an Ecuadorian national and in possession of political rights.

        With regards to the institution's duties, the Constitution and the COD stipulate that the National Electoral Council shall organize, direct, oversee, and guarantee transparent electoral processes, announce electoral results, and swear into office those persons winning elections; designate the members of deconcentrated electoral bodies; control electoral campaign advertising and spending, and hear and rule on accounts submitted by political organizations and financial managers and refer the files to the electoral justice when permanent; submit proposals for legislative initiatives on the scope of competence of the Electoral Branch; regulate the legal system governing matters under their jurisdiction; ensure that political organizations observe the law, its regulations and bylaws; and implement, administer and control State funding of electoral campaigns and the fund for political organizations. (Art. 219, Constitution and Art. 25, COD).

        The Council will meet in ordinary and extraordinary sessions, which will be public and led by the Chair or Vice-Chair (Art. 26, COD). Ordinary sessions must be called for with at least a twelve-hour notice and must be communicated to all members (art. 27). During extraordinary sessions, only the specific and urgent matters will be addressed and if the session starts with the minimum quorum of three members, the votes of all the attendants will be necessary to approve a resolution (Art. 28). During ordinary sessions, that also require a minimum quorum of three members, resolutions will be approved with simple majority of votes. In case of a tie vote, the round will be repeated just once and, if it is necessary, the Chair will exercise tie-breaking vote (Art. 29). In case there are contestations to a Council's resolution, the reconsideration will require the favorable vote of three members. The reconsideration of matters already reconsidered is not allowed, except if this is voted by unanimity by the five members (Art. 30).

        Regarding special duties by the Chair, they will be the head authority and the main legal, judicial and extra-judicial representative of the institution. They will receive and admit the objections and contestations presented to the Council, and will impose the administrative sanctions within their competence (Art. 32, COD).

        In practice, the National Electoral Council exercises all the powers that the law grants it and take several decisions to regulate and control political finance. It approves the expenditure limits for each elected office in each electoral process, it decides on the allocation of the Permanent Party Fund and the Electoral Promotion Fund – which represent the main source of funding for political organizations-, dictates rules that complement and specify constitutional and legal dispositions related to political finance and official propaganda, and issues resolutions after reviewing financial reports presented by political organizations and financial managers.

        Additionally, the National Electoral Council has also exercised its duty to on complaints reporting violations of political finance laws, and to impose administrative sanctions. It has cancelled television and radio spots, it has ordered the removal of unauthorized advertising billboards, it has recommended sanctions to presidential candidates that violate the law and has referred cases to the electoral justice and the Office of the General Comptroller for them to exercise their judicial competence.

        The media and scholars have reported some occasions in which the National Electoral Council showed bias in its decisions and has adopted politicized decisions. Firstly, the law establishes that no electoral reform can be passed within one year of the next electoral process. National elections were supposed to be held in January 2013 but the National Electoral Council decided to change the electoral calendar so that the controversial reforms to the Code of Democracy approved in February 2012, and mainly promoted by the government, could come into force for the next electoral process. Victor Ajila also pointed that, against former decisions on the matter and against in force regulations, the National Electoral Council authorized an alliance between Alianza PAIS (the party in government) and Movimiento Pachakutik in one of the provinces. The national authorities of the Movement were in conflict with the provincial authorities because Pachakutik had adopted a critical position towards the government. While this conflict was still ongoing, the provincial section of the Movement, according to Ajila, should not have been allowed to form alliances with other national political organizations.

        News reports also highlight that complaints about abuse of public resources and infrastructure are rarely admitted by the National Electoral Council or the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and that this systematically benefits the party in government (this was also addressed in the report of the Electoral Monitoring Mission conducted by the OAS in 2013).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Permanent Party Fund 2011 report to General Comptroller September, 2013

        National Electoral Council Resolution –PLE-CNE-1-1-11-2012 (Official propaganda must be authorized by NEC) Published online on November 12th, 2012 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-1-NOVIEMBRE-2012.pdf

        National Electoral Council Resolution –PLE-CNE-1-2-1-2013 (Use of electoral resources and monitoring of official propaganda) Published online on January 12th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-2-ENERO-2013.pdf

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-14-22-1-2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf (Spots Removal)

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-10-20-8-2013 Published online on October 7th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-20-AGOSTO-2013.pdf (Four parties pointed for wrongful use of funds)

        NEC has detected 300 pre-campaign billboards across the country (CNE ha detectado 300 vallas con publicidad electoral anticipada en todo el país) Ecuador Inmediato January 2nd, 2013 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=188434&umt=cnehadetectado300vallasconpublicidadelectoralanticipadaentodoelpaeds

        Elections: NEC decided on six matters related to control and electoral spending (Elecciones: CNE resolvió seis temas sobre control y gasto electoral) La Hora January 23rd, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101455469/-1/Elecciones%3ACNEresolvi%C3%B3seistemassobrecontrolygasto_electoral.html#.U-u354CSzMY

        NEC removes billboards by PAIS and Avanza CNE retira vallas de PAIS y Avanza La Hora February 8th, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101462760/-1/CNEretir%C3%B3vallasdePAISyAvanza.html#.U-mOr4BdXMb

        NEC sanctions financial managers of political organizations (CNE sanciona a responsables de manejo económico de organizaciones políticas) Press Release by National Electoral Council July 28th, 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/sala-de-prensa1/noticias-anteriores/6089-cne-sanciona-a-responsables-de-manejo-economico-de-organizaciones-politicas

        It was not good enough (No dio la talla) Thalía Flores Diario Hoy February 14th, 2013 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/no-dio-la-talla-574160.html

        NEC's independence is debated again in this campaign (La independencia del CNE vuelve al debate en esta campaña electoral) El Universo February 16th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/02/16/nota/2189416/independencia-cne-vuelve-debate-esta-campana-electoral

        Goodbye parties, welcome caudillos (Adiós partidos, bienvenidos caudillos) Simón Pachano Latin American Review of Comparative Politics (No. 8) Published by the Latin American Center of Political Studies, CELAEP July, 2014 http://issuu.com/celaep/docs/vol8revistalat.depolitica_com

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former Advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

        Roxana Silva - Standing Member - National Electoral Council - July 23rd, 2014

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        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council receives considerable amounts of funds, considering it is the authority that allocates the Permanent Party Funds and grants the Electoral Promotion Fund. However, during electoral campaign, when activities and tasks increase dramatically, budget and staff are not sufficient to perform its duties efficiently. With the exception of some reports of sub-national campaigns, the National Electoral Council reviews all incoming reports and identifies if certain reports have not been submitted but it takes more than a year or sometimes two to conclude this task.

        The National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure reported that, in order to conclude pending audits of the annual accounting reports, and the campaign financial reports of 2013 and 2014 additional staff had been hired. One of the main problems, however, as Director Cisneros pointed, is the difficulty of finding qualified professionals capable of handling the audit of accounts that combine private and public monies: together with the cost in money and time to train them. During the 2013 electoral process, the National Electoral Council established an agreement with different universities in Quito to train last-year students to help speed up the oversight process. The Council also signed an agreement with Corporación Participación Ciudadana to exchange information and access the results of the monitoring that the organization keeps on media coverage.

        The audit of the reports on the 2013 campaign were concluded on July 2014, more than a year after the elections. It must be pointed that, by law, the oversight authority has up to two years to perform this examination of financial records. It was also mentioned that the audit on the annual reports presented by political organizations corresponding to 2012 has not concluded yet.

        Director Cisneros also confirmed that currently, accounting reports of the 2014 sub-national campaign filed by financial managers are being audited after a sampling process was applied. The total number of reports presented was 7520, which made it quite difficult to examine each one of them.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Accounting reports Chimborazo July, 2014

        Annual Budget – National Electoral Council 2013 and 2014 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/PRESUPUESTO-2013%20.pdf http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/PRESUPUESTO-2014%20.pdf

        Participación Ciudadana signs agreement with NEC looking at 2013 elections (Participación Ciudadana firma acuerdo con el CNE con miras a elecciones 2013) Diario Hoy June 26th, 2012 http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/participacion-ciudadana-firma-acuerdo-con-cne-con-miras-a-elecciones-2013-553557.html

        NEC has not finished auditing 2013 expenditure (CNE no termina auditoría de gastos del 2013) El Universo January 19th, 2014 http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2014/01/19/nota/2049691/cne-no-termina-auditoria-gastos-2013

        NEC sanctions 134 financial managers of political movements and parties (CNE sanciona a 134 responsables del manejo económico de movimientos y partidos políticos) July 28th, 2014 El Comercio http://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/campanaelectoral-cne-partidospoliticos-movimientospoliticos-sancion.html

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council, through the Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, begins the exam of campaign accounting reports approximately four to five months after the celebration of elections. The institution has up to two years to conclude the examination process. This means that the most important part of the process of oversight and control is done a posteriori.

        However, during electoral campaign, the National Electoral Council conducts audits and investigations ex-officio and after complaints filed by political organizations, candidates, the deconcentrated electoral bodies, or citizens. The biggest part of these activities is regular monitoring of unauthorized advertising billboards. The authorities of the deconcentrated electoral bodies design rounds through the different provinces to identify and register pre-campaign and campaign expenditure and to order the removal of unauthorized advertising. Xavier Letamendi, political editor at El Telégrafo, mentioned that the newspaper asked permission to join some of the rounds and that the National Electoral Council allowed it.

        For the 2014 campaign, as reported by Dr. Silva and Director Cisneros, the National Electoral Council has used a specific software to monitor and store records of these infractions in order to facilitate and speed up the audit process.

        Investigations are carried out after the Council receives complaints. As a result of some of the reports admitted during the 2013 campaign, the Council found one presidential candidate responsible of distributing gifts, one public official responsible of abuse of public resources and infrastructure, and ordered the cancellation of television and radio spots that were not in compliance with advertising regulations and the principle of equity in the competition. However this is part of the administrative sanction process and not of audits resulting from the Council's initiative.

        The last serious investigation made public by the National Electoral Council was related to the abuse of public resources by four political organizations that had received resources through the Permanent Party Fund in 2011. The Council referred the file to the Office of the General Comptroller so that the case is prosecuted by the pertinent authorities.

        It must be noted that the judicial competence to sanction the violations of political finance laws and the wrongful use of public resources and infrastructure belongs to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and the Office of the General Comptroller.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Electoral Dispute Settlement Court – Sentence 017-13-050213 February 4th, 2013 No online publication date available. http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a91c73_SENTENCIA-017-13-050213.pdf (Gifts distributing by candidate)

        National Electoral Council Resolution – PLE-CNE-14-22-1-2013 Published online on February 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-22-ENERO-2013.pdf (Spots Removal)

        NEC has detected 300 pre-campaign billboards across the country (CNE ha detectado 300 vallas con publicidad electoral anticipada en todo el país) Ecuador Inmediato January 2nd, 2013 http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/index.php?module=Noticias&func=newsuserview&id=188434&umt=cnehadetectado300vallasconpublicidadelectoralanticipadaentodoelpaeds

        NEC removes billboards by PAIS and Avanza CNE retira vallas de PAIS y Avanza La Hora February 8th, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101462760/-1/CNEretir%C3%B3vallasdePAISyAvanza.html#.U-mOr4BdXMb

        Elections: NEC decided on six matters related to control and electoral spending (Elecciones: CNE resolvió seis temas sobre control y gasto electoral) La Hora January 23rd, 2013 http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101455469/-1/Elecciones%3ACNEresolvi%C3%B3seistemassobrecontrolygasto_electoral.html#.U-u354CSzMY

        EDST sanctions candidate Álvaro Noboa for distributing gifts (TCE sanciona a candidato Álvaro Noboa por entregar dádivas) El Universo Febrary 5th, 2013 http://www.eluniverso.com/2013/02/05/1/1355/tce-sanciona-candidato-alvaro-noboa-entregar-dadivas.html

        Pre-campaign infractions 2013 Infracciones campaña anticipada 2013 December 17th, 2013 Ecuavisa http://direct.ecuavisa.com/articulo/noticias/nacional/48892-guayas-gasta-casi-240-mil-dolares-campana-electoral-anticipada http://www.ecuavisa.com/sites/ecuavisa.com/files/documentos/2013/12/infraccionescampanaanticipada_2013.pdf

        CNE reports wrongful use of public funds by 4 organizations (CNE denuncia mal uso de fondos públicos por 4 organizaciones) Ecuavisa August 21st, 2013 http://www.ecuavisa.com/articulo/noticias/actualidad/38802-cne-denuncia-mal-uso-fondos-publicos-4-organizaciones-politicas

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

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        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council, through the Office of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, begins the exam of campaign accounting reports approximately four to five months after the celebration of elections. The institution has up to two years to conclude the examination process. This means that the most important part of the process of oversight and control is done a posteriori. The deeper audits on violation of financial political laws are conducted after all reports have been reviewed.

        The oversight and examination of financial reports on the 2013 campaign was concluded in July 2014 and no audits are being currently carried out, since the National Electoral Council has granted fifteen additional days to the organizations whose reports required further clarification or documentation.

        The last serious investigation made public by the National Electoral Council was related to the abuse of public resources by four political organizations that had received resources through the Permanent Party Fund in 2011. The Council referred the file to the Office of the General Comptroller so that the case is prosecuted by the pertinent authorities. The deepest investigation on these cases was carried out by the latter but, according to Yolanda Velasco, Director of Responsibilities at the Office, no official public report has been approved yet with the definite results of the investigation. The National Electoral Council just published a summary of their initial findings as a press release.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Audit due to wrongful use of Party Fund (Auditoría por mal uso del Fondo Partidario) National Electoral Council Press Release August 20th, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/sala-de-prensa1/noticias-anteriores/3927-auditorias-por-mal-uso-de-fondo-partidario

        CNE reports wrongful use of public funds by 4 organizations (CNE denuncia mal uso de fondos públicos por 4 organizaciones) Ecuavisa August 21st, 2013 http://www.ecuavisa.com/articulo/noticias/actualidad/38802-cne-denuncia-mal-uso-fondos-publicos-4-organizaciones-politicas

        The Office of the Comptroller General points at four parties for wrongful use of funds (Contraloría señala a cuatro partidos por mal uso de fondos) El Telégrafo April 14th, 2014 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/politica/item/contraloria-senala-a-cuatro-partidos-por-mal-uso-de-fondos.html

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Yolanda Velasco Director of Responsibilities Office of the General Comptroller August 6th, 2014

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        According to the Code of Democracy (COD) the authorities of the Electoral Branch have exclusive competence, within their respective areas, to rule on all matters concerning the application of the electoral law, and to apply sanctions stipulated by law (Art. 23). The Electoral Dispute Settlement Court shall sanction the violation of the rules related to electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and, in a broad sense, the violation of electoral rules (Art. 70). Articles 275 to 277 of the COD clearly define the violations of political finance laws, which affect political actors, natural and legal persons, authorities, public servants, and social media. The COD also includes clearly defined sanctions to those infractions.

        Violations of laws regarding the use of public resources and infrastructure, or the use of government propaganda in all levels of government during electoral campaign, will be sanctioned with a fee of an amount between ten and thirty percent of the total campaign expenditure authorized for each type of elected office. Non-compliance with the sanction or repeat offense will be sanctioned with cancelation of the offender's candidacy presented by the responsible organization (Art. 282).

        Those individuals and organizations who fail to provide information requested by electoral institutions shall be sanctioned with a fee equal to twenty basic monthly salaries and the suspension of political and participation rights during four years (Art. 288). In the case of political finance information, this sanction would be mostly, although not exclusively, applied to the financial managers designated by the political organizations.

        According to the law, during electoral campaigns, individuals who contribute with an amount that exceeds the limits established by law, shall pay a fee equal to double the exceeded amount of their contribution. The same sanction will apply to political organizations or financial managers that accept such contributions, during and outside campaign period (Art. 293 and 376). The law also states that natural or legal persons, national or foreign, who contribute despite the prohibitions of the law, shall be sanctioned with a fee equal to three times the amount of the contribution (Art. 297).

        Political actors and financial managers that surpass the expenditure limits established by the law, shall be personally sanctioned with a fee equal to double the total exceeded amount of the expenses. If the infraction is higher than thirty percent of the total authorized expenditure, the fee will be equal to four times the total exceeded amount (Art. 294).

        The National Electoral Council is authorized to freeze the campaign bank accounts of those political actors who exceed the established limits on finance and expenditure (Art. 295). Additionally, political organizations that deposit funds in bank accounts different from those stipulated by law, shall have their right to receive public funding suspended up to two years (Art. 377). In terms of the finding of organizations' regular activity, the head of the organization and the financial manager that authorize the use of bank accounts different from those stipulated by law, shall be removed from their position and will not be able to be re-elected or run as candidates during five years (Art. 378).

        If the oversight authority considers that any of the contributions is illicit, the case will be referred to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court for pertinent sanctions to be imposed. The campaign financial manager and the contributor will have their political and participation rights suspended during two years. The candidate for whom the contribution was made, elected or not, will be sanctioned with a fee equal to double the amount of the illicit contribution (Art. 296). Elected candidates will lose their office in case the competent authority proves they have received illicit contributions. When evidence suggests that the illicit contribution comes from illegal or criminal activities, electoral authorities will refer the case to the General Attorney (Art. 296).

        In addition, elected candidates whose financial managers present adulterated accounts shall lose their office, and will be subject to sanctions stipulated by the COD without prejudice to the sanctions established by penal law (Art. 298). In case political organizations omit to register one or more contributions in their financial reports, they will be sanctioned with a fine that goes from two to five times the amount of the omitted contribution (Art. 376).

        Political organizations who fail to present their campaign accounting reports shall be removed from the national registry during one electoral period. If they repeat this behavior during the next electoral process in which they are authorized to participate, they will be removed from the registry permanently (Art. 301). Personal sanctions will also be imposed to the financial manager (Art. 39, Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial).

        Electoral authorities are authorized to impose fines that go, depending on the importance or reiteration of the violation, from ten to a hundred basic monthly salaries and/or a suspension of up to twenty-four months to an organization that does not comply with the obligations provided for by the law (Art. 374).

        Political organizations that, in two consecutive years, fail to present their annual financial report shall be removed from the national registry during twelve months. If after that period the organization does not comply with its reporting obligations, it will be removed permanently (Art. 375).

        The fines stipulated by the COD shall be deposited in the National Electoral Council's account. In case a political organization has the right to receive public funding, its unpaid fines shall be charged to that fund. Public funding will not be granted to organizations that have pending obligations with the Internal Revenue Service for more than two years, or to those that have unpaid fines or have been sanctioned for receiving illicit contributions (Art. 299 and 374). Similarly, political organizations and candidates with unpaid fines will not receive their corresponding indirect public funding for the campaign (Art. 300).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 23, 70, 275-277, 282, 288, 293-299, 300, 301, 374-378. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

        Rules for the oversight of electoral finance, propaganda and expenditure and its administrative trial (Codificación al reglamento para el control del financiamiento, propaganda y gasto electoral y su juzgamiento en sede administrativa) Electoral Council Resolution PLE-CNE-3-16-1-2014) Art. 39. 2014. http://www.cne.gob.ec/images/R-16-ENERO-2014.pdf

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        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        In Ecuador, when sanctions are called for, the electoral authorities are not required to have approval from either the executive or the legislature before seeking such sanctions or before sending a case for prosecution.

        The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador establishes, together with the traditional Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch, an Electoral Branch of Government. This Branch shall be comprised of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, and both institutions shall have national jurisdiction, administrative, financial, and organizational autonomy, and shall be governed by the principles of autonomy and independence” (Art. 217). The National Electoral Council is in charge of electoral administration, and the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court is in charge of electoral justice.

        The Constitution stipulates that the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court has, among its attributions, the power “to punish for failure to comply with the rules governing funding, political campaigning, electoral spending, and in general for infringing electoral regulations (...) Its decisions and resolutions shall constitute electoral case law, shall be the appeal of last resort and shall require immediate compliance.” (Art. 221). In addition, the Code of Democracy states that, in case of contradictory ruling, the institution will dictate by a majority of votes of its members the regulation that will be valid and compulsory (Art. 70).

        The law establishes that electoral violations described in the Code of Democracy shall be judged and sanctioned at last instance by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court. The institution can impose the following sanctions: removal from office, suspension of political and participation rights, and monetary fines. This, without prejudice to the competence of the General Attorney to investigate, and of judges to rule on violations classified as Criminal Law (Art. 281, COD). Regarding this, Art. 279 of the COD states that in case members of the National Electoral Council or judges of the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court find evidence of criminal liability or violations of criminal law, they shall refer the cases to be prosecuted by the corresponding judicial authorities (mostly the Office of the Comptroller General and the General Attorney).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador Arts. 217, 221. 2008. http://bivicce.corteconstitucional.gob.ec/site/image/common/libros/constituciones/Constitucion2008+enmiendas.pdf English Version http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/noticia/constituciondelarepublicadelecuadorversionen_ingles

        Organic Law on Electoral Process and Political Organizations – Code of Democracy (COD) (Ley Orgánica Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas – Código de la Democracia) Arts. 70, 279, 281. 2009. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35394757

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        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        The 2013 election was the second national electoral process that took place after the 2008 Constitution. The 2009 elections were under the transitory legal framework established to elect authorities for the new political period. Even though the Code of Democracy was approved in April 2009, since presidential and legislative national elections were held on the same month, the law was not applied to that process. Sanctions for violations of political financial laws referred the the prior regulatory framework.

        The oversight and examination of financial reports on the 2013 campaign was concluded in July 2014 and the National Electoral Council has granted additional days to the organizations whose reports required further clarification or documentation. This means that violations or abuse of the regulation in force during the 2013 campaign have not been established yet.

        Víctor Hugo Ajila, legal advisor to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court, said that the Court has conducted statistical studies (not publicly available) that show offenders comply with the sanctions imposed. He explains that this is mainly because they constitute small fines and most of the times the financial manager is the direct subject of sanctions and not political organizations. When individual responsibility is determined, this also means temporary suspension of political rights until sanctions are complied with.

        According to Ajila, serious sanctions to political organizations are rarely imposed. The last case of an important sanctions was that imposed to PRIAN party in 2010 after the audit of their accounts for the 2009 elections. The National Electoral Council found the organization had exceeded the expenditure limit and imposed a fine of 6 million dollars. The organization has not payed the whole fine yet, but the money has been discounted from the Permanent Party Fund that they were supposed to receive annually. The case is still open.

        During 2013 campaign, most of the sanctions referred to the display of unauthorized advertising billboards and fines imposed to financial managers that failed to present reports on due date. According to Ajila and José Cisneros, National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure, these fines have been paid.

        With respect to repeat offenses, in the case of unauthorized advertising, the sentences issued by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court have been applied to the same organizations in more than once, but this occurred in different provinces of the country and sometimes individual responsibility is determined, so the offender actually changes. Something similar happens to financial managers, since they usually change in each election.

        The real scope of sanctions and enforcement capabilities will probably be tested after the National Electoral Council rules on the financial reports of the 2013 campaign and, if pertinent, refers the cases to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and the Office of the General Comptroller.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Sentences by the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court (no publication date available, but all issued during 2013 and related to the 2013 campaign) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/d483e7SENTENCIA-009-13.pdf (Billboard infractions Avanza Party) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a8d522SENTENCIA-012-13-200213.pdf (Billboard infractions Alianza PAIS Party) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/a39500SENTENCIA-014-13.pdf (Billboard infractions Sociedad Patriótica Party) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/d2fe11SENTENCIA-018-13-210213.pdf (Billboard infractions Avanza Party) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/8e5134SENTENCIA-022-13-ACUMULADA-062-067-13-110313.pdf (Billboard infractions Alianza PAIS Party) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/b0719aSENTENCIA-036-13-260213.pdf ( Billboard infractions Sociedad Patriótica) http://www.tce.gob.ec//jml/bajar/Sentencias/f915cf_SENTENCIA-73-13-070313.pdf (Billboard infractions Alianza PAIS Party)

        Noboa says he has already paid a 3180 dollars fine to the EDST (Noboa asegura que ya pagó $3180 de multa en el TCE) El Telégrafo February 9th, 2013 http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/noticias/informacion-general/item/noboa-asegura-que-ya-pago-3-180-de-multa-en-el-tce.html

        NEC sanctions financial managers CNE abre expedientes a responsables de manejo económico National Electoral Council Press Release August 1st, 2013 http://www.cne.gob.ec/index.php/sala-de-prensa1/noticias-anteriores/3799-cne-abre-expedientes-a-responsables-de-manejo-economico

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court August 9th, 2014

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        --
        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The Ecuadorian law provides extensive regulation for the political finance of parties and, fundamentally, on political campaigns. The system combines direct and indirect public funding, as well as private contributions, and emphasizes the principle of equitability in competition. Regarding the allocation of resources, the law considers both the principles of equality and proportionality, thus reinforcing the idea of equitability but also recognizing the electoral preferences of the people. Formally, the system sets an adequate framework to regulate these matters, but in practice some serious problems act as obstacles to the effective enforcement of these rules.

        The oversight and examination of financial reports on the 2013 campaign was concluded in July 2014 and the National Electoral Council has granted additional days to the organizations whose reports required further clarification or documentation. This means that violations or abuse of the regulation in force during the 2013 campaign have not been established yet. The real scope of sanctions and enforcement capacity will probably be tested after the National Electoral Council rules on the financial reports of the 2013 campaign and, if pertinent, refers the cases to the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and the Office of the General Comptroller.

        The National Electoral Council has up to two years to conclude the examination process. This means that the most important part of the process of oversight and control is done a posteriori and this is one of the main obstacles to effective enforcement. In some cases, sanctions include the removal of office, a measure that two years after elected candidates have taken office, could cause instability and political crises. Besides, while audits and investigations are in progress most of the information on financial accounts by political organizations is considered confidential. Citizens, thus, cannot access reports or details on the investigations, which considerably harms the principle of transparency.

        According to officials of the National Electoral Council, after recommendations by national and international actors, the institution is trying to implement tools to improve access to information and facilitate auditing. For the 2014 campaign, the National Electoral Council has used a specific software program to monitor and store records of these infractions in order to facilitate and speed up the audit process. Additionally, the Council has made available a new simple accounting software, which can be accessed on their website online for free. Right now parties and organizations can voluntarily choose to use it to present their financial information digitally, and the goal is progressively implementing it as a mandatory tool. This would enhance transparency and would constitute an improvement, according to Cisneros, on fully guaranteeing access to information.

        In relation to this topic, the reform passed in 2012 included a modification of Art. 203 aimed at regulating media coverage of campaigns and elections, that was contested by journalists, organizations and a broad array of political actors but ratified through a resolution of the Constitutional Court. The result was a restricted margin of action for press coverage. Journalist and scholars have insisted on the fact that the current situation of freedom of expression in Ecuador makes it difficult for journalists to freely report on several issues, especially during campaign periods, thus reinforcing problems of transparency.

        Another matter that needs improvement is the regulation and monitoring of the use of public resources. Journalists, scholars, and social organizations highlight that complaints about abuse of public resources and infrastructure are rarely addressed by the National Electoral Council or the Electoral Dispute Settlement Court and that this systematically unbalances competition. This problem was also mentioned in the report of the Electoral Monitoring Mission conducted by the OAS in 2013. A clearer and strict definition of prohibitions and exceptions needs to be implemented. Strong sanctions exist in law, but they are rarely applied.

        This relates to the fact that opposition parties have repeatedly declared that the National Electoral Council is not totally independent and impartial and that the designation of the current standing members, all of whom had previously occupied positions in the government, was not completely objective or transparent. It has also been noted that the process of examination of candidates does not place enough importance on professional trajectory and experience specifically acquired in the field of electoral processes.

        To add to these inconveniences, as declared by a public official at the institution, the Office of the General Comptroller has up to seven years to prosecute cases of wrongful use of public resources and infrastructure.

        Historically, the electoral authorities have not displayed strong enforcement capabilities regarding violations of limits of electoral expenditure. According to the law, political actors and financial managers that surpass the expenditure limits established by the law, shall be personally sanctioned with a fee equal to double the total exceeded amount of the expenses. If the infraction is higher than thirty percent of the total authorized expenditure, the fee will be equal to four times the total exceeded amount. This could be considered as an adequate penalty, but has not been fully applied in previous elections. On one hand, political actors complain that the thresholds set by the authorities do not realistically consider current costs of campaigns. On the other hand, judicial processes take a lot of time and the imposed fines are not always paid by the responsible organizations. It remains to be seen if, after the final resolution on financial accounts for the 2013 campaign is issued, the tendency to exceed electoral expenditure limits is confirmed and how the electoral authorities respond.

        Finally, it is worth noting that most of the sanctions applied for infractions during the 2013 electoral campaign were imposed on financial managers, instead of the candidates or political organizations. As reported by members of the electoral authorities, financial managers are, in many cases, selected randomly among party members and do not necessarily have strong qualifications. The fact that candidates and organizations are not publicly made responsible for the violations diminished the efficacy of enforcement.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - Strong sanctions exist in law, but they are rarely applied. As in other domains of the Ecuadorian institutional system, the real challenge is to develop the capacity to implement the letter of the law, and not so much the quality of the rules itself. Part of the problem with effective electoral monitoring is related to lack of capacity to process information in an adequate and timely fashion. But at the root of the problem is the relative lack of independence of electoral authorities. The most evident deficiency of the system in this regard has to do with the recurrent use of public funds during electoral campaigns, and the atmosphere of unfairness that it generates among political actors and independent citizens. From an optimistic perspective, we may want to expect that once political forces become more balanced, and the country gets fully acquainted with the institutions that emerged from the 2008 constitution, the oversight of electoral processes could become more effective and transparent.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Observations to the new rules of official electoral propaganda Notification No. 107-PC-DE- 2013 Corporación Participación Ciudadana Published online on December 3rd, 2013 http://www.participacionciudadana.org/pc10/images/docu/pulso12/oficiocne.pdf

        Report of the OAS Electoral Monitoring Mission – Ecuador 2013 Organization of American States February 18th, 2013 http://www.oas.org/es/sap/deco/moe/Ecuador2013/prensa/CP_Feb18.pdf

        Goodbye parties, welcome caudillos (Adiós partidos, bienvenidos caudillos) Simón Pachano Latin American Review of Comparative Politics (No. 8) Published by the Latin American Center of Political Studies, CELAEP July, 2014 http://issuu.com/celaep/docs/vol8revistalat.depolitica_com

        Roxana Silva Standing Member National Electoral Council July 23rd, 2014

        José Cisneros National Director of Oversight and Control of Electoral Expenditure National Electoral Council July 30th, 2014

        Víctor Hugo Ajila Legal Advisor Electoral Dispute Settlement Court Former advisor to the National Electoral Council August 9th, 2014

        Yolanda Velasco Director of Responsibilities Office of the General Comptroller August 6th, 2014

        Xavier Letamendi Political Editor Diario El Telégrafo July 15th, 2014

        Jorge León Trujillo Scholar and member of CEDIME (Center for the Development and Research on Social Movements in Ecuador) July 30th, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Simon Pachano University professor September 23, 2014

Ecuador has a directly elected President who serves as the head of state, while the legislative branch consists of the unicameral 137 member National Assembly. Members of the National Assembly are elected on the basis of a proportional representation system. 15 members are elected in a single national district, two members are elected for each province, plus one additional member for every 200,000 inhabitants, or the fraction thereof over 150,000 (during the most recent elections, 116 members were elected in provincial party lists), and six members are elected for the special foreign districts representing Ecuadorians living abroad. Only legally recognized political organizations may present candidates for elections.

Direct non-electoral public funding is provided for political parties. Candidates can collect resources on their own, but campaign financial accounts are managed by a financial manager designated by party organizations. The manager is exclusively responsible for keeping records and presenting reports to the National Electoral Council. When parties present several lists for multi-member elections, the financial manager must present reports for each lists separately. Individual candidates can self-finance only 10% of the total expenditure authorized by the National Electoral Council.

To guarantee equal and fair access to electoral promotion for all candidates during the campaign, indirect electoral public funding is available. Public financing covers exclusively propaganda in the written press, radio, television and billboards. Candidates are forbidden to hire these types of electoral promotion privately, and public institutions are barred from hiring publicity. The National Electoral Council determines the amount of the electoral bonus that each candidate will receive and monitors expenditures. Campaign funds for presidential candidates are managed by a financial manager, who is required to open a bank account in the national financial system in order to track down campaign expenditures specifically.

The President and Vice President are elected by an absolute majority of the valid votes. If no candidate secures an absolute majority in the first round of voting, a second round shall be held within 45 days, and the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round shall participate. A second round will not be held if one candidate wins at least 40% of the valid votes and a difference of more than 10 percentage points over his nearest challenger.

The most recent general elections were held in February 2013, when President Rafael Correa of the Alianza PAIS movement was re-elected in the first round of voting with 57.17% of the vote. The runner up candidate was Guillermo Lasso, representing the CREO movement, with 22.68%, with the remaining of the votes being distributed among other six candidates. In the legislative elections, Correa’s Alianza PAIS took 100 of the 137 seats, thus obtaining an overwhelming majority. The other political forces that won seats in the legislature are: CREO (11), the Social Christian Party (6), Patriotic Society (5), Avanza (5), Unity of the Lefts (5), PRE (1), SUMA (1), IDC (1), ARE (1), and MPCG (1).